Startup Dataminr claims it gave investors a three-minute headstart to dump BlackBerry stock

Dataminr, a startup focused on analyzing the world’s tweets in real time in order to predict specific trends or activity, is claiming it gave users tracking stock-market activity a three-minute heads up on Monday morning that BlackBerry’s stock was about to tank.

As the graphic below shows, the company noted a tweet from the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper that BlackBerry was giving up its search for a buyer and instead replacing its CEO. The tweet (embedded below) happened at 8:12 a.m. Eastern Time, followed up by a news story at 8:15 a.m. By 8:19 a.m., BlackBerry stock had fallen more than 20 percent.

Source: Dataminr

Source: Dataminr

If the company’s claim is accurate, it’s a great selling point for Dataminr and yet another testament to the power of Twitter as a real-time news source. When stream of tweets flowing from Twitter is put in the right hands — or, more accurately, the right algorithms — it can actually become more than a news source, venturing into the realm of becoming an agent for intelligence in fields where minutes matter.

Dataminr has raised $46.5 million in venture capital since launching in 2009 and is currently used by hedge funds and other businesses interested in stock market predictions, as well as increasingly by government agencies presumably interested in tracking geopolitical activities.

This is the tweet that triggered the Dataminr notice.