London Stock Exchange Group Leads $20m Investment In Fintech02.27.2019
Nivaura, a regulated FinTech company focused on automating the issuance and administration processes for financial instruments, has closed a strategic funding round, raising $20m in seed and seed extension capital from a number of prominent partners.
Founded three years ago, Nivaura’s focus is on the deployment of digital investment banking platforms for banks, exchanges and other financial institutions, to connect and automate fragmented and manual processes involved in the issuance and administration of instruments such as any form of debt, equity and structured products. For certain transaction types, this can reduce time to market by as much as 60-80 per cent, cutting cost by orders of magnitude, and ensuring consistent compliance.
This $20m investment, led by London Stock Exchange Group, will allow Nivaura to rapidly expand its leadership, business development and technical teams in order to accelerate growth. Technical market professional hires will enable Nivaura to move faster to complete product development and to ramp up expertise across machine learning and natural language processing, in line with clients’ increasingly complex automation needs. The company also plans to enter new jurisdictions and to cover new asset classes.
📌 Santander InnoVentures, our fintech venture capital fund, adds @Nivaura to its investment portfolio.
The London-based fintech deploys digital investment banking platforms for banks which can use distributed ledger technology.
— Banco Santander (@bancosantander) February 27, 2019
As an early example of the senior hires to be joining Nivaura, Richard Cohen, a senior Debt Capital Markets lawyer, is moving from Allen & Overy as Nivaura’s General Counsel and Head of Strategy. Nivaura also welcomes two new board members. Investment banking veteran Spencer Lake, formerly Head of Global Markets and Vice Chairman of HSBC’s Banking and Markets Division joins as a board member, investor and commercial advisor on business development to the team. Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange plc and Director of International Development, London Stock Exchange Group, who are partnering with Nivaura to drive innovation across capital markets, also becomes a board member.
Nivaura has already successfully proven the platform for structuring, distributing, executing and settling financial instruments both traditionally by enabling settlement through existing clearing infrastructure, and as tokenized instruments that are registered and settled on public blockchains. One such success was the world’s first automated cryptocurrency denominated bond issuance supported by leading capital markets law firm Allen & Overy.
Nivaura’s CEO, Dr. Avtar Sehra, commented: “Our focus for 2019 is on conducting a series of high profile, large-scale projects with high calibre partners to demonstrate our platform as a valuable solution across the full spectrum of capital markets primary issuance activities. Working with such partners with their wealth of experience will underpin our next phase of growth.”
By working with major law firms such as Allen & Overy and Linklaters, in addition to participating in all of the first four FCA regulatory sandboxes, where it gained its MiFID and CASS regulatory approvals, Nivaura has made regulatory and legal rigour core to the platform. This compliance mindset is further reinforced by Linklaters and Orrick becoming investors in the latest seed round extension and Allen & Overy continuing with its support.
Dr. Sehra added: “We’re seeing growing appetite from major financial institutions for practical innovation that goes beyond buzzwords and conceptual PoCs in ‘digital investment banking’. Boards are saying: go forth and innovate. But doing so in the highly regulated and complex world of capital markets is immensely difficult. With our now proven approach and compliance credentials, we are able to finally help our industry take practical steps to innovate and improve their economics.”
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