Wells Fargo and ICAP at the Vanguard of $18 Million Funding for...

Wells Fargo and ICAP at the Vanguard of $18 Million Funding for Blockchain Startup Axoni

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United States banking and financial services giant Wells Fargo along with Euclid Opportunities were principal contributors to the $18 million (Series A funding) for Blockchain start-up enterprise Axoni. Euclid is owned by ICAP, an inter-dealer brokerage corporation.

Major Players

Wells Fargo is the US global banking and financial services holding conglomerate based in San Francisco CA. It is the second biggest bank worldwide in terms of market capitalization and third-biggest in the USA.

Euclid Opportunities provides up-and-coming financial technology firms financing programs that will support trendsetters that create value in institutional or organized capital markets. These fintech companies should have the ability to provide unique business platforms and technologies with the potential to spur competence and transparency across financial marketplaces.

ICAP (NEX Group) is a voice-electronic dealer brokering company and supplier of post-trade risk services. It is acknowledged as the biggest globally that carry out transactions for monetary institutions instead of private personalities.

New York-based Axoni is a capital markets technology provider of distributed ledger infrastructure.  It has partnered with big financial corporations to test Blockchain and Smart Contract platform for different uses.

Increased Funding

This move has brought up the funds of Axoni to more than $20 million. Financing sources of venture capital (corporate subsidy) for financial technology enterprises are currently increasing. Other participants in the funding round are the following:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Andreessen Horowitz
  • FinTech Collective
  • F-Prime Capital Partners
  • Digital Currency Group

According to Mr. Thomas Richardson, Market Structure/Electronic Trading Services head of Wells Fargo Securities, Axoni was able to validate said technology in multiple use cases for capital markets. Axoni is looking at the possibility of providing services for leading financial services corporations.

Distributed Ledger Expert

Axoni offers full-stack Blockchain technology. The company highlights the following services:

  • Automation of workflow – Smart contracts see to it that all related parties are coordinated even for the most convoluted financial instruments.
  • Privacy of Data – The tested privacy system secures data and conceals it from unauthorized parties.
  • High Throughput Computing- This refers to the capability to process many times data needed for institutional financial systems.
  • External Integration – Integration is possible with other service providers because it is easy to add or remove participants.

Proof of Technology

ICAP just carried out Proof of Technology trial in February 26 of this year for a distributed ledger (Peer to Peer or P2P) through Blockchain. The testing was performed by ICAP’s Post Trade Risk and Information Division. A press statement from PTRI disclosed this P of T leveraged the multiple messaging and identical Harmony network as well as Blockchain provided by Axoni.

The exclusive Blockchain performance offers multifaceted life-cycle automation; privacy of transactions; adequate processing of trades to sustain big-volume markets; computerized reporting process; and, dynamic permission system to participants who just joined the network. The test was conducted making use of bilaterally-implemented spot and forward FOREX block trades. PTRI brought in matched messages from Harmony and converted these to smart contracts (Blockchain) in real time.

According to ICAP, the Proof of Technology test revealed the following possibilities:

  • Present a common source for user transactions as well as reference data cross assets.
  • Improve accuracy and promptness of user data.
  • Update data copies continuously that will be stored on the servers of users.
  • Secure coded messages so these will be viewed only by legitimate users.
  • Minimize operational risks and update procedures for operations and settlement.
  • Accomplish cost-savings for back-office and technology.

ICAP also said the technology experiment focused on data distribution of data and not the settlement of two-pronged transactions. It concentrated on current PTRI solutions but did not challenge the basic role of participants. This will necessitate operating securely in conjunction with architecture which does not call for a switch-over immediately. The next goal of PTRI is to confer with participants on accessing new golden data sources and accomplishing technology savings in contrasting systems.

Jenny Knott, Chief Executive Officer of Post Trade Risk and Information Division, maintained that ICAP was able to establish one of the very first real-world apps of distributed ledger technology that can transform the post-trade landscape extensively. PTRI put together its technology, capability and networks with the DLT of Axoni to further innovations in the post-trade realm.

On the other hand, Greg Schvey Chief Executive Officer of Axoni admitted there was no difficulty in the collaboration with ICAP. There was no deficiency of demand for distributed ledger ventures. The glaring results were the introspective consideration of ICAP where said technology can be most useful; large-scale deployment targets; and, market-leading client reach offering high odds of success when merged with the modern Blockchain infrastructure of Axoni.

Latest on Axoni Blockchain

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were reported to be at the forefront of investing ventures in Axoni. The investment amount is somewhere between $15 and $20 million. Details were not clear although reports mentioned announcement of the deals will be made before the New Year.

Goldman Sachs departed from collaboration with R3, a Blockchain company that operates also in New York City. The bank apparently preferred Axoni while investing in Digital Asset as part of the funding cycle worth $60 million. The funding was initiated by JPMorgan Chase early this year. R3 will allegedly reduce its target for fundraising from $200 to $150 million after Morgan Stanley and Banco Santander also left the consortium.

Last April, Axoni had its Blockchain platform tested by seven companies in Wall Street for credit default derivative contracts (swaps) exchange in post-trade phases. This is a market where unsettled contracts reach several trillions of USD. Some 85 tests were conducted with success rate of 99 percent.

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