Citi has taken part in a $6 million Series A funding round for up-and-coming Singapore-based bond exchange, BondEvalue, as electronification of the bond market continues.
The bank was joined by MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia in the latest funding round that took the exchange’s total funding to $10 million. The new investors are expected to join the board.
Launched in 2016, BondEvalue offers electronic bond trading, using proprietary technology and blockchain to provide investors greater access to buy and sell bonds in denominations of $1,000, instead of $200,000 through a public exchange.
It was received as a recognised market operator (RMO) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in October last year to operate BondbloX Bond Exchange, a tokenised bond trading platform.
“The trend towards electronification of bonds markets is accelerating. We are excited about our strategic investment in BondEvalue as it fits with our focus on working with category champions in the Asia-Pacific innovation ecosystem,” said Deepak Mehra, Asia head of strategic FinTech investments and electronification at Citi.
“Citi’s Strategic FinTech Investments programme seeks to invest in highly innovative companies with the potential to transform the industry over the medium-to-long term while helping our investee companies leverage Citi’s product expertise, deep client relationships and unparalleled global network to realise their vision.”
The electronification of the bond markets has been ongoing for several years now and the pandemic and subsequent remote working conditions have sped up this process significantly.
A recent study by Coalition Greenwich in May found that two thirds of buy-side firms in Europe had increased their use of electronic trading for European swaps last year as a means to improving their workflows.
“Citi and MassMutual are behemoths in the bond market. Their support of our vision to have a transparent bond market will accelerate our momentum,” said Rahul Banerjee, BondEvalue co-founder and chief executive.
“We are excited about the future and are focused on executing our mission of bringing bond investing to the so-called HENRYs (High earners, not rich yet), who hitherto were unable to buy bonds.”