Nasdaq buys Quandl to access ‘alternative data’

The US-based exchange operator looks to diversify its revenue stream by acquiring leading alternative data platform, as traditional information services struggle to excite investors.

NASDAQ Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

Nasdaq announced its acquisition of Quandl, a leading provider of alternative data and core financial information, for an undisclosed sum on Tuesday.

The deal is a reaction to a wider trend that sees investors coveting non-traditional data sets, which has led to Nasdaq looking for alternative revenue streams as its more traditional information services coming under pressure.

‘Investors today are demanding actionable intelligence from new and expansive data sources at an increasingly rapid rate,’ Quandl CEO Tammer Kamel said. ‘Joining with Nasdaq will enable us to serve investors with strengthened real-time capabilities and greatly enhanced data hygiene and symbology.’

‘Our existing set of clients, including the world’s top hedge funds and investment banks, stand to benefit greatly from our mutual vision that data is going to become the primary driver of active investment performance over the next decade,’ he added.

A closer look at Quandl

Quandl offers access to alternative data and core financial information from more than 350 sources to over 30,000 active monthly users, with the company offering non-traditional data on everything from capital markets and energy to economics and demography.

One the deal is completed, Nasdaq plans to combine Quandl with its existing ‘Analytics Hub’ business unit that sits within its Global Information Services division.

‘Quandl will allow Nasdaq to partner more closely with the investing community as the industry continuously seeks ways to evaluate an endless supply of information to drive new insights, investment ideas and deliver alpha,’ Executive Vice President and Head of Nasdaq’s Global Information Services unit Bjorn Sibbern said.

‘Quandl’s leadership, user community, and team of data scientists combined with Nasdaq’s alternative data group and global reach, will help our diverse client base derive a broad array of new investing opportunities,’ he added.

Nasdaq continues to diversify

Many exchange operators have diversified away from their traditional trading businesses over the last decade, with Nasdaq’s latest acquisition part of a much larger trend towards greater services diversification.

As it stands, non-trading services at Nasdaq are responsible for generating around 75% of total revenues.

Since taking over last year, Nasdaq’s new CEO Adena Friedman has allocated significant capital to fund acquisitions of data providers, including eVestment, a deal valued at around $705 million.

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