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(Crain's) — Morningstar Inc. led a group to invest $3.25 million in YCharts Inc., a Chicago-based online stock-research startup.
Morningstar, the investment research company led by billionaire Joe Mansueto, is investing $2.45 million while Hyde Park Angels, I2A Fund of Chicago and several other angel investment firms are pitching in another $800,000, YCharts said in a news release.
Morningstar has made the occasional minority investment in startups in the past, but not recently in its hometown. In 2009, it invested about $4 million to take minority stakes in New York-based Bundle Corp. and Seattle-based Pitchbook Data Inc. Mr. Mansueto also occasionally makes his own angel investments.
YCharts has developed a compelling way to visually display fundamental equity data that helps investors better understand the financial underpinnings of companies, Mr. Mansueto said in the release. Its investor-centric approach aligns well with Morningstar's mission, and our investment in this fast-growing company is a natural fit for us.
YCharts provides users with historical market data and analysis, algorithms for trading, color-coded charts to research some 5,000 stocks, and information on economic indicators.
The company provides much of the information for free on its website, www.ycharts.com, but sells its YCharts Pro product, which provides more sophisticated tools, for $40 per month.
YCharts was founded by Shawn Carpenter, a former Google Inc. employee, and Ara Anjargolian, a programmer who previously worked at the Tribune Co.
The free service has drawn 400,000 users monthly to its site, the company said. YCharts provides its tools to partners such as Morningstar and Zacks Investment Research Inc. as part of its marketing campaign, said Mr. Carpenter.
Hyde Park Angels, a group of Chicago investors that fund early-stage companies, and I2A also invested in YChart's first round of financing in April. YCharts has now raised $4.75 million.
Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111117/NEWS08/111119832/morningstar-hyde-park-others-pour-3-25m-into-stock-research-startup-ycharts#ixzz1dzpuas3s
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