YCharts CEO Shawn Carpenter on Off the Charts Success

by Amina Elahi
July 27, 2012

YCharts may be the David to Yahoo! Finances’ Goliath. With strong growth over the past 18 months, the small-but-mighty financial services company is poised to follow in those Biblical footsteps—or at least take on the giant.

The world of finances is bogged down by myriad figures and data, making it difficult for the average person to keep track—much less make sense—of his or her investments. Enter YCharts. Their visually-driven data presentation makes it easy for users to take in and digest financial information. That’s bolstered by the fact that individuals themselves can determine what categories, metrics and comparisons their charts display.

[ibimage==17910==Original==none==self==ibimage_align-left]Perhaps it’s features like these that led to a recent explosion in the site’s popularity. YCharts cofounder Shawn Carpenter opened up about what makes his company a winner.

Tell us about YCharts' recent growth. What do you attribute that success to?
YCharts has been growing rapidly (30,000 monthly visitors in 2010, 250,000 in 2011, and over 500,000 in 2012) thanks to a combination of a strong product and partnerships with companies like Forbes, SeekingAlpha, Morningstar, TheStreet, Business Insider, Zacks, LA Times and the Chicago Tribune.

What problem were you looking to solve with YCharts?  
I wanted a service that would allow me to analyze vast amounts of investment information visually. We did this at Google with query data but I wanted a service for investment data.  It didn't exist so I found the best developer I could find and started building it.

Why was YCharts so disruptive?  
We have a pretty disruptive approach to gathering massive amounts of investment related data, running millions of calculations and then visualizing that information on our site and our partners’. It also doesn't hurt that the entire team understands how to scale online.

What makes you different?  
Our team. We have a unique combination of technology, online marketing and financial expertise.

What are your goals for 2012 and beyond?  
We will be approaching 1 million [monthly] visitors by the end of the year. Several major partnerships will be announced and we are launching YCharts Platinum in the fourth quarter. The Platinum product is a significant upgrade to our existing service and offers data, analytics and other functionality typically found in high-end professional terminals.

Tell us about your team—who are the brains behind the company?
Definitely not me. My co-founder Ara Anjargolian is amazing. He can build anything that I can think of but is smart enough to push back when appropriate. Nathan Pinger is our financial guru and one of the smartest people I know. We have a really smart team but, more importantly, a team that knows how to execute and focus on big things that really matter. We hire people that are talented and then let them do what they do best. There is no hierarchy at YCharts which allows us to build product and scale rapidly.

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