Dutch bank ING has spun-out its advanced analytics portfolio tool, Katana, into an independent venture in order to accelerate the platform’s growth among buy-side users.
Fostered out of ING Labs, the platform uses a machine learning algorithm to scan the entire bond market and systematically detect anomalies, helping traders and portfolio managers surface investment ideas and find opportunities faster.
As part of the spin-off plans, ING Ventures will invest a further £1.5 million into Katana alongside other investors as part of a £3 million funding round.
Katana is supported by investments teams at PGGM, one of the largest pension fund managers in the Netherlands, and other assets managers which have been using the tool and providing ING with feedback and market validation since the design of the first prototype in January 2018.
“A growing number of clients discover the advantages of using advanced analytics in decision-making. It enables them to work faster and more efficiently,” said Santiago Braje, former head of credit trading at ING and CEO of Katana. “Supported by ING, we managed to develop, test and validate the technology. Now it’s time to move to the next phase as an independent fintech, we are very excited about the opportunities we see in developing our platform further and expanding our client base.”
Buy-side firms have steadily become key users of tools developed by fixed income-focused FinTech firms, as electronic and portfolio trading in bond and credit markets become an increasing part of their strategies.
Last year, the former head of trading at Nordea Asset Management, Miles Kumaresan, launched a start-up with the aim of placing greater power of fixed income trading practices into the hands of traders and portfolio managers.