A social media site is helping start-up investment firms compete with bigger competitors.
Hedgehogs.net will provide social networking tools and business software to support small firms and individuals in the investment sector.
The site aims to act as an information source for small firms and independent advisers who lack the IT resources to link into third-party information providers.
Hedgehog will offer a social platform made up of a news service, blogs and a search engine which constantly feeds information.
Users can share knowledge and market information through the website, allowing them to compete with bigger firms, said Ken Yeadon, CEO at Hedgehogs.net and managing partner at Thematic Partners, which founded the site.
"It is about the dialogue related to the investment process and people checking on each other."
The next stage will see software suppliers make their applications, which are used by investment firms, available on the site. "This will provide the software tools needed to run an investment firm."
He said between 40,000 and 90,000 individuals could benefit from the service, and thousands of suppliers of software and data could potentially become members, said Yeardon.
The finance sector is looking at ways of harnessing social media.
Trading software maker Streambase, for example, is enabling traders to link its complex event monitoring (CEP) software to Twitter through an adaptor to help it receive information from the microblogging website to help it make decisions on buying and selling shares.