I’m really impressed with all the progress Fawce and Bredeche have made over the past 5 years. They have an amazing community of users that actively support each other while also competing against each other in trading competitions. The quality of collaboration is really quite amazing for quants, a group of people that have traditionally been very protective and insular, locked up by hedge fund IP agreements and NDAs.
When Fawce first pitched Quantopian to me and my partner Santo, the product was in a very nascent state (it ended up being completely rebuilt post-closing of the seed round), and it was only a single-player experience, so we could only hypothesize what the multiplayer experience would be like. We assumed that no practicing quants on wall street would engage with the product because they would be barred from trading outside of their day jobs. Instead, we thought that if we brought the best-of-breed tools and data to the masses online, then experts in fields unrelated to finance (say, PhDs in Mechanical Engineering or Computational Biology) would explore quantitative trading as a side project. Side projects are a natural recreation for innately smart, curious people.
The latter half of this hypothesis has come true (the PhDs have arrived, and their engagement in the community is amazing). But, the doubt in the former half of this hypothesis was unfounded. Wall street has also showed up too, and the community is better for it.
The other thing I’ll say about the progress of Quantopian that’s remarkable is that it’s a truly global phenomenon. In just the past few months Quantopian Meetups and Trading Workshops have happened in London, Sydney, Paris, Singapore, not to mention all over US cities. Quantopian just held its Quantcon conference in Singapore last week. I attended the most recent Quantcon in NY: seeing the community interact with each other IRL is inspiring, and the quality of the programmed content blew me away.
The community has arrived. And they have brought a wide diversity of thought to algorithm creation on the platform. This new round of capital will enable Quantopian to partner with individual quants in the community to start deploying capital into their algorithms at institutional scale. I’m excited to continue to watch them grow, and so thankful for the opportunity to continue working with Fawce, Bredeche, and the rest of the Quantopian team.