Abraham Thomas


πŸ‘‹ Hello, I’m Abraham.

I’m a technology entrepreneur and private investor living in Toronto.

I’m the co-founder and former Chief Data Officer of Quandl, a tech startup that was acquired by Nasdaq in 2018.

Before Quandl, I was a trader and portfolio manager at Simplex, a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund in Tokyo.


Work

I work at the intersection of data, markets, and technology. Here are a few things I’ve done:

πŸš€ Founded Quandl, a SaaS-enabled B2B marketplace for data. We pioneered the category of alternative data for finance, changing the industry along the way. Quandl was acquired by Nasdaq in 2018.

πŸ“ˆ Early employee at Simplex Asset Management, a quant hedge fund. I built one of the bond market’s first algorithmic trading systems, and headed US investing and operations for Simplex before retiring in 2007.

πŸŽ“ Studied Engineering Physics at IIT Bombay, India’s top technology school. While there, I helped set up India’s first campus data network, and won a bunch of awards, mostly for extra-curriculars and leadership.




Investing

πŸ¦‹ I angel invest in early-stage startups, mostly B2B.
🌏 I’m flexible on business model, industry and geography.
πŸ”— I like hard tech, data moats, APIs, and network effects.
πŸ”§ I try to be a low-ego, high-support investor, not just a cheque.

πŸ“« Founders, if this sounds like a fit, please reach out!




Expertise

Here are a few topics I have particularly deep professional expertise in:

πŸ”’ Data and API business models and the modern data ecosystem
πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Designing, building and scaling effective data organizations
βš–οΈ B2B and SaaS-enabled marketplaces
πŸ’³ Capital markets and B2B fintech
🏧 Modern quantitative and quantamental investing
πŸ›°οΈ Alternative data and untapped sources of alpha
πŸ¦„ Building a venture-funded startup outside the Bay Area




Media

My work at Quandl has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist, CNBC, Bloomberg, Forbes, Business Insider, Quartz, the Globe and Mail (Canada) and many others. You can see a full list of articles here.

I often speak at conferences, seminars and other public events. Recent seminar venues include asset managers Winton, OTPP, CPPIB, UBS and Franklin Templeton; conferences include Strata, AIDST, Princeton and Montgomery; and tech events include Toronto City Hall, TechTO, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. You can see a full list of talks here.

For press and speaker inquires, please email me.




Consulting

I have a limited number of hours available for professional consulting. My clients are typically institutional investors: hedge funds, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, venture capital firms etc.

Topics I advise on include:

β˜‘οΈ Diligence: Expert evaluations of data-related ventures
πŸ›οΈ Strategy: Data strategy, business models and ecosystem
πŸ’± Edge: Data advantages and using data to generate alpha
🚚 Applications: Specific datasets, usage and opportunities
πŸ—οΈ Infra: Modern data infrastructure and technical approaches
🏭 Ops: Managing data teams, processes and operations

To inquire about professional services, please email me.




Interests

I have a number of hobbies and interests that keep me pleasantly busy:

πŸ“š I’m an unapologetic bibliophile
πŸ“· I like to take artsy photographs
✈️ I like to travel, both physically and in spirit
🎲 I like to play Euro-style board games
🎨 I haunt galleries and museums whenever I can
🍱 I like to cook, and also to eat well
🎢 I like to discover new music of almost every genre
πŸ… I over-analyze sports, using data of course
🎾 I play semi-competitive tennis (NTRP 4-5)
πŸ”  I used to play tournament Scrabble, but haven’t for a while
🌸 I used to curate a rather popular poetry newsletter
πŸ‹πŸΎ I work out, sleep well, and practise happiness
πŸ“‹ I’m a prolific list-maker, curator and reviewer
βœ’οΈ I like to write, as this website makes abundantly clear :)




Contact

I enjoy meeting new people.

Email is the best way to contact me.
I’m moderately active on Twitter.
I also have a LinkedIn profile.
If you’re in Toronto, I’d be happy to meet for a coffee.