TickSmith, a Montreal company focused on big data applications for capital markets, has closed a $2 million investment from Illuminate Financial Management LLP, a venture capital firm with a focus on capital markets financial technology.
TickSmith was founded by four industry veterans with backgrounds designing infrastructure for banks and developing and managing financial services data and technology solutions. The company addresses a growing need of exchanges, banks and buy-side institutions in capital markets: how to interpret and unlock value from constantly growing volumes and ever-increasing sources of financially relevant data. CME Group and The National Bank of Canada are amongst its global client base.
“It’s been a long process, a long journey,” David Cote, CIO of Ticksmith told MTLinTECH. “We’ve been talking with a lot of VC firms and pitching our strategy and our business plan, and we were looking for smart money specifically, a VC firm more specialized in FinTech such as us, that could contribute. We carefully selected a few of them and eliminated others and Illuminate took the lead. We finalized all the paperwork a couple of weeks ago.”
TickSmith will use the funding to further commercialize its flagship product, TickVault, described as a financial data lake platform for capital markets. TickVault centralizes data from external and internal data feeds and enables API access to feed current and future data-intensive applications including data distribution, MiFID II compliance and reporting, backtesting of trading algorithms, market surveillance, risk management, and machine learning analytics.
“We have a presence in New York and Toronto and we want to increase that presence in New York by opening an office, as well as in London. London we have a really strong lead over there, and for us having a permanent person working over there will really help us to close those deals. So it’s mostly for our marketing and sales strategy, and obviously we’ll add more delivery people and developers as well.”
As electronic trade volumes grow, regulatory bodies are increasingly demanding that transaction data, trade, and quote data be stored and made readily accessible. In addition to complying with new post-trade reporting and risk requirements, such as MiFID II and The Fundamental Review of The Trading Book (FRTB), TickVault also provides access to all this information via a single source of data for internal compliance and risk management teams. By using an automated and centralized environment, TickVault reduces time spent on tasks like data preparation and data cleaning. This also allows highly adaptable and robust regulatory reporting capabilities as well as allowing quick integration of existing and new data science tools.
“All of the development is done here in Montreal, so obviously as more contracts are signed we’ll hire more developers. We’re mostly a big data firm, so it’s a really technical specific job. Recently we introduced more machine learning stuff on top of our platform, and we’ve been talking with another company that wants to introduce AI on top of our database, so it’s really interesting stuff.”
TickSmith currently has a team of 17 in Montreal, but plans to double that in the next year or two.