Transforming the investor-information connection

Transforming the investor-information connection

Investment performance-tracking software

Frustrated by the options available to track their financial investments, Tony and Scott Ryburn decided to create their own online solution. Abletech was there to help – and the result is a first-of-its-kind, multi-award-winning, international success story.

*Scott with Tony Ryburn outside the NZX*

Scott with Tony Ryburn outside the NZX

Back in 2006, father and son Tony and Scott Ryburn decided there had to be a better way to track the performance of their financial investments.

“There appeared to be only two options on offer,” says Tony. “One was a very basic online spreadsheet and the other used antiquated, desktop-based software to provide a service that was complex, expensive and ultimately ineffective. Essentially, recordkeeping was a nightmare, and it was nearly impossible to work out the true performance of a portfolio.”

The pair decided to design and build an online tracker that would meet not only their own needs but also those of other DIY investors and financial professionals.

The first step was to find people who could help them develop the software, and that’s where Abletech came in. Sharesight was born, with Tony, Scott and Abletech gurus Nigel Ramsay and Marcus Baguley as the founding shareholders.

“We could see that the concept was a great idea,” says Marcus, “and Tony and Scott had mapped out a well designed user experience. We used this as the basis for creating a product that would engage and delight all users.”

Turning the vision into reality

The design and build process focused on creating a scalable platform that would align with the emerging cloud technology and SaaS (Software as a Service) concerns. The team also had to stay true to their vision for the product by ensuring they kept learning from and adapting to the marketplace, and in turn enabling the business to attract staff and its own investors.

By 2008 Sharesight was ready to go – offering investors a one-stop investment tracker to monitor share prices, trades, dividends, performance and tax. The first paying customer was signed up in April that year, and the service went global in 2015.

Today, Sharesight is an international success story:

  • It’s one of the 100 most innovative WealthTech companies in the world.
  • It’s a multi-award-winning online investment portfolio tracker.
  • It’s used by more than 250,000 DIY investors and finance professionals in more than 100 countries, and tracks more than three million holdings.
  • In addition to self-directed investors, it now serves financial advisors, fund managers and accountants.

Sharesight is also technologically sophisticated:

  • It works with 20 years of historical data.
  • It syncs with local and international brokers to track trades, dividends and corporate actions automatically.
  • kIt runs performance and tax reports in one click.
  • It connects to Xero via an award-winning add-on integration.
  • Members can share their information securely with others such as their accountants, trustees and partners.

Scott (second from left) and team — Xero partner award winners

The Abletech way

  • Understanding the problem to be solved and working closely with the business was key to a rapidly delivered solution that could be taken to market.
  • We started from some beautiful wireframes. This helped define the vision of the user experience, and provided a lightweight way to represent the requirements from the users perspective.
  • We connected to data feeds from both the NZX and ASX exchanges and exchange rate API’s.
  • We broke the system down into features and organised these to reduce risk and deliver value. This included not only a focus on the minimum lovable product but also designing the solution to be sufficiently scalable for a growing user base across global markets.
  • The first version was deployed and had customers signing up within 5 months

Technologies used in the solution

  • Ruby on Rails
  • Mysql
  • Email gateways
  • ASX and NZX api integration

Other sources:

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