Stratiphy, Daniel Gold: Embracing computer code and data to enhance the user experience 

Payment Expert spoke to Daniel Gold, Founder of Stratiphy, to discuss the challenges in the current economic climate and why data remains king. 

PE: Firstly, are you able to tell us more about Stratiphy and your offering? 

DG: Stratiphy is an investment app that guides you along the journey to define and follow your own personal investment strategy. 

The inspiration for this idea came from seeing how the investment banks built systematic strategies, tailored for each client and implemented sophisticated risk management and portfolio construction techniques. Those clients didn’t need to know what was going on in the code-base but they did want confidence that their strategy was properly constructed, managed and maintained. I wanted to level this playing field and give everyone access to the same sophisticated techniques and personalised approach. 

So why would an everyday investor want an investment strategy? There is evidence that systematic investing tends to generate higher performance compared to stock pickers, and that many individual investors tend to buy stocks with lottery-like characteristics based on poor quality data. We are taking the emotion out of investing, and helping everyone to make their investing journey more systematic. This provides a host of benefits from improving investment performance to saving time and being more responsive to the changing market. 

We place a strong emphasis on sustainable wealth generation and risk management rather than seeking supernormal returns, as we believe this is more appropriate for almost all investors. We also are quite unique in allowing both self-selection and the creation of automated analytics and investing. Our approach also offers a highly accessible product, in which a lot of thought has gone into making an intuitive user interface within an elegant mobile app.  

Can you tell us more about the power of the data that you enable consumers to access and why is it so crucial? 

We generate analytics bespoke for each strategy and for each user. This drives the ability to provide a truly personalised experience. 

Let’s say a customer wants to follow a strategy for UK tech and finance stocks, buying the stocks with the highest momentum and selling those with the lowest momentum each month. We will generate the analytics on the entire market, and the customer’s actual portfolio to arrive at the next steps they need to take in order to follow their strategy. This unique approach isn’t widely available for everyday investors, and our approach aims to change that. 

What role do you believe ESG ratings can play in the experience for those looking to utilise Stratiphy? 

I’m pleased to see every day that investing is more than just about money, it’s about driving change based on a valued-based approach to deploying capital. We want to help our customers invest according to their value and ESG is an effective way to do that. The ESG space is still relatively nascent and not without controversy, however I think it would be short sighted to avoid ESG and it is better to embrace it. I have no doubt the data, standard, standardisation and implementation will all improve over time and we want to be part of that journey and not just bystanders.

We’re going further than just the bare minimum however and giving everyone access to E, S and G scores for individual stocks as well as CO2 emissions. This is an exciting time to be an investor because you can seek a positive return and make a positive impact simultaneously.

Are you able to give us more details about how you focus on evolving the user experience and why it’s so pivotal to customer engagement?

As a team we take great pride in the product we’re building, we want it to be something everyone can enjoy using and something we use ourselves. We are constantly looking at how we can improve the user experience and we know this work is never really done.

We have consulted our community and design experts to find the best formula we can, but we are always looking for feedback to help us improve. 

There is a balance to be struck between providing more information and functionality within the interface, without becoming too complex and confusing to use effectively. We have seen many investment products that display a plethora of metrics and charts on each instrument, but we question how useful that really is. 

Our paradigm is to shift all the data analytics to the computer code, and let the algorithms crunch the numbers. This means we don’t need to display an excessive amount of information, however the information we do display is high quality and targeted at driving key decisions. We believe this results in a drastically improved user experience.

How have you had to adjust to challenging economic conditions?

It’s fair to say that the last 12 months have been uniquely challenging for the business community, and especially for the startup community. We have faced economic headwinds from inflation, fears of recession, falling sentiment and regulatory uncertainty, and geopolitical fears. This set of events doesn’t happen every day and many businesses have not been able to manage. 

We have had to make difficult decisions as a company such as reconsidering how to allocate resources to maximise our runway, and had to form a long term view on where to focus our efforts. 

What hasn’t changed is our steadfast view of the need for our product in the market. In fact, we have doubled down on getting our product out to people because it is exactly in these volatile and tumultuous times that a properly managed investment strategy can shine. We have engaged directly with our community and our target customer base to understand their needs and get feedback on the product, and what has been encouraging to see is the consistent need for the product regardless of the economic climate.  

Can you tell us more about the panel of advisers that you have had and what was the thought process in bringing them in? 

It was important to the founding team, Nikki and myself, that we recognise our strengths and weaknesses. We know we can go far with our vision and tenacity, however we also know we can’t do it alone. 

We need to build a team of world class experts around us. This includes our employees and advisors. We try to make every hire the best we can, and this means we try to punch above our weight with everyone we talk to. 

We have built a team with diverse skills and backgrounds to guide us. This includes people from the startup world to the corporate world, from compliance, to strategies, to business. We are also looking to grow our team as we grow our business.

What innovations can we look forward to from Stratiphy in the near future?

There’s a lot to say here and I don’t want to spoil all the surprises we have in store. The first big innovation that we’re going to shout about once we are regulated is the ability to build your own strategy, to simulate the market according to this strategy, and automate your investing journey. 

We will continually be adding to our product, from expanding our range of instruments to different regions, sectors and asset classes. We will introduce tax wrappers and, longer term, we have plans for deep collaborations with leaders in our industry that will be hugely exciting for retail consumers. 

We believe that we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to upend one of the biggest markets out there, and level the playing field so that everyone can invest like the professionals do.