Similarweb, a Tel Aviv, Israel headquartered provider of digital intelligence for hedge funds and investment banks is building its brand in Europe on the back of success in the US where its alternative dataset is used by hundreds of fund managers including most of the big names, and investment banks including JP Morgan and Citi to gain visibility into companies’ digital performance and market trends.
The company was founded in 2013 to estimate traffic to websites across the world. The resulting data was widely available with early subscribers including corporate companies aiming to improve marketing. In 2017, Ed Lavery a Similarweb customer and now director of investor intelligence at the company, suggested a move into financial services. Using the same data as corporates, investment firms can assess and understand the performance and potential of private and public companies.
Lavery provides an example of hedge funds using the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to access data that will help them work out whether companies will meet or miss revenue estimates.
“Investors get a 360 online view of companies. The information is more granular than company reports, and can give investors more confidence in their investment decisions. We don’t offer any views on the data, it is up to customers to find their own alpha,” he says, adding: “Our platform is intuitive to use and people making decisions don’t need to have technical skills.”Investment banks are using Similarweb datasets to provide client services. Citi, for example, used Similarweb data to generate a report on the automotive industry. Equity research teams at other investment banks are also using the data in an effort to differentiate against other sell-side firms by using more accurate data to validate their propositions.
The company’s datasets are also gaining interest among quant funds and mutual funds.
The data used by Similarweb to provide digital intelligence comes from several sources. These include a million websites that use Google Analytics to provide data, anonymous traffic data collected from Similarweb products installed on devices worldwide, publicly available data such as census data, and data partners such as ISPs that offer data that has already been analysed.
The data is then aggregated, normalised, combined with measurement data, and run through Similarweb’s proprietary algorithms to provide estimated data with a time lag of about 48 hours that can be used by investors as insight into companies and markets.
Similarweb went public in May 2021, has around 1,100 employees, a global network of offices and resellers, a strong US market presence and plans to build its brand in Europe as well as broader capital markets. While the company also offers solutions for digital research, marketing, sales and shopper intelligence, Lavery says: “Capital markets are the fastest growing part of the business in terms of revenue. They include big and sticky customers with high growth sales potential.”
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