25 Calhoun

The financial technology firm Thesys opened an office in this 25 Calhoun Street building in Charleston. The company won a contract to build a massive database tracking every trade in the U.S. equity markets. File/Thad Moore/Staff

A company with plans to build an enormous database tracking American financial markets appears to be ramping up its operations in Charleston.

New York-based Thesys Technologies was picked in January to build a system that tracks every trade in the stock and options markets — from the instant an order is placed to when a trade is executed. The project, mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will create the largest database of market information in the world, logging an estimated 58 billion records a day.

The initiative stems from the 2010 "flash crash," when runaway algorithms wiped out nearly a trillion dollars of value from the stock market in a matter of minutes. It took months for regulators to piece together what happened using data from several sources, so the SEC told market exchanges they needed to create a central data clearinghouse.

Thesys, which has an office on Calhoun Street, finalized its contract to build that database this month. And last week, it said it had hired Shane Swanson as its chief compliance officer, adding a second c-suite executive to its Charleston office. Chief technology officer Thaddeus Covert is also based in Charleston.

Covert and Swanson were both formerly executives at Automated Trading Desk, a Mount Pleasant business that helped spearhead high-frequency trading. Swanson started as general counsel in 1998 and later ran the company for three years while it was owned by Citigroup. He later worked for Chicago-based Citadel Securities, which bought the Citi operation last year.

That announcement comes as Thesys has expanded its staff. On LinkedIn, it lists 39 employees, up from 27 when it won the deal. A little under half of them say they work in South Carolina.

That growth appears poised to continue: Thesys didn't respond to questions about its hiring plans, but its website lists four openings, including two in Charleston.

Space program

The Lowcountry has another coworking space, adding another player to a market that hardly existed here a few years ago.

Office Evolution opened its doors on King Street this month in a shared office space above the Thai restaurant Basil. Andy Fry, who owns the Colorado-based national chain's local franchise, says the 7,000-square-foot facility has 21 offices for rent.

The market for coworking spaces is still fairly limited in Charleston, but the few that have opened — including Holy City Collective on Daniel Island and Launch Pad on Meeting Street — have all done so in the last two years.

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Heater hits goal

The Mount Pleasant startup Heatworks Technologies locked down another financial boost last week as it prepares to release a new version of its Internet-connected water heater.

The company hit its $125,000 goal on Kickstarter, securing a few hundred pre-orders for its third model with more than two weeks left in its crowdfunding campaign. It says its water heater is more efficient and can be controlled with a smartphone app.

Heatworks has had more success raising investments than most startups in the Lowcountry, landing more than $10 million in the last five years. That includes a $3 million round last month.

The new version, which is expected to be released in July, has sold more than 300 units so far, but the company has said it hopes to sell several thousand more — perhaps 10,000 to 30,000 this year.

The high-tech water heater is meant partly to redeem Heatworks' technology after error codes and installation issues bogged down its first attempt at an ultra-efficient heater. The first model garnered hundreds of complaints from customers on its first Kickstarter campaign, threatening its vision to change the way people interact with their water heaters.

That caused some trepidation among would-be customers of the new version, comments show. But a few hundred others were willing to give the company a second shot.

Reach Thad Moore at 843-937-5703 or on Twitter @thadmoore.

Thad Moore is a reporter on The Post and Courier’s Watchdog and Public Service team, a native of Columbia and a graduate of the University of South Carolina. His career at the newspaper started on the business desk in 2016.