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Startup Dataminr claims it gave investors a three-minute headstart to dump BlackBerry stock

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Dataminr, a startup focused on analyzing the world’s tweets in real time in order to predict specific trends or activity, is claiming it gave users tracking stock-market activity a three-minute heads up on Monday morning that BlackBerry’s stock was about to tank.

As the graphic below shows, the company noted a tweet from the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper that BlackBerry was giving up its search for a buyer and instead replacing its CEO. The tweet (embedded below) happened at 8:12 a.m. Eastern Time, followed up by a news story at 8:15 a.m. By 8:19 a.m., BlackBerry stock had fallen more than 20 percent.

Source: Dataminr
Source: Dataminr

If the company’s claim is accurate, it’s a great selling point for Dataminr and yet another testament to the power of Twitter as a real-time news source. When stream of tweets flowing from Twitter is put in the right hands — or, more accurately, the right algorithms — it can actually become more than a news source, venturing into the realm of becoming an agent for intelligence in fields where minutes matter.

Dataminr has raised $46.5 million in venture capital since launching in 2009 and is currently used by hedge funds and other businesses interested in stock market predictions, as well as increasingly by government agencies presumably interested in tracking geopolitical activities.

This is the tweet that triggered the Dataminr notice.

3 Responses to “Startup Dataminr claims it gave investors a three-minute headstart to dump BlackBerry stock”

  1. Once again this proves nothing is private when using social networks, free email, etc. so others can profit from the information you supply willingly. Start thinking about what you are sharing, how, and to whom.

  2. I’ve told everyone to sold Blackberry shares a year ago already! Well, at least a year ago, they’ve been going downhill before then. Hope that makes my value more than Dataminr :)

    All jokes aside, I think this rather shows the power of Twitter, and that maybe they should look at alternative income streams than advertising. If a third party can raise $46 million on the utilisation of data owned by Twitter, surely they can do something with that.