A big theme at TechCrunch 40 was social/web financial services. Mint and Cake launched there and Mint came away with the top prize.
To many, it seemed that these two companies were the first movers in their respective market spaces. But that is far from the case. In the case of Mint, there are at least three services already in the market, Wesabe (which Union Square Ventures is an investor in), Geezeo, and Buxfer. The social investing market is even more crowded with dozens of companies trying to become "a social Bloomberg".
The twist that Cake brings to the social investing field is that they use real transactions to build your profile by accessing your online trading accounts. Again, they are not the first to do this. A company out of the UK, called Covestor, has been doing the same thing for the past six months and has built a large network of traders who are sharing real trades with each other. My friend Rikki started Covestor and my friends Mark and Howard (both great public market investors) are angel investors in the Company. At this point I do not have any involvement with them.
I’ve joined Covestor and set up an E*Trade account to invest a little money in the market (not something I do very well so I am keeping it small). I’ll probably put a widget on this blog to showcase how I am doing and you can follow my trades. I hope I don’t embarrass myself.