Appital secures GBP2.5m in funding round led by Frontline Ventures

Appital has secured a GBP2.5 million investment from Frontline Ventures and a number of seasoned capital markets angel investors to bring technological innovation and automation to today’s equity capital markets.

The investment will accelerate the development of Appital’s technology infrastructure, integration with financial institutions as well as technology vendors and enable the expansion of their engineering team to support the delivery of their go-to-market strategy.

Appital’s mission is to bring innovation to Equity Capital Markets, an area largely untouched by automation, plagued by opaque legacy processes. A new trading platform that enables the discovery of latent liquidity, Appital offers the buy-side community the ability to gain greater exposure to relevant deal flow opportunities and interact with like-minded institutions in the liquidity formation process. 

The funding follows  the recent announcement that Appital is to partner with Turquoise to bring pioneering bookbuilding technology to the buy-side. The cooperation brings together complementary capabilities to the benefit of issuers and investors, adding transparency and automation to the process of liquidity discovery. Institutional investors will be able to take advantage of a more innovative and efficient way to access liquidity opportunities and trade in a market for size, at the best price. At the same time, Appital users will be able to execute all deals through the Turquoise MTF, via a single point of access and with seamless straight-through-processing (STP) to over 20 settlement venues.

Mark Badyra, Chief Executive Officer of Appital, says: “This is an exciting time for our business. We are delighted to have secured joint investment from Frontline Ventures and a number of angel investors to provide buy-side firms with new opportunities to discover and interact with latent liquidity. We enable buy-side firms to radically rethink their approach to interacting with the market, gain exposure to deal flow opportunities they have not been able to access before, and proactively drive liquidity in the market.”

Shay Garvey, Partner at Frontline Ventures, says: “Appital offers a solution to one of the buy-side’s biggest pain points in equity capital markets: the lack of efficiency across existing bookbuilding and deal distribution processes. Their proven track record in gaining participation from major asset management firms is testament to the need for innovation in this segment of the market and we are delighted to support Appital’s vision.” 

With Appital, institutional investors can proactively source liquidity, including in highly illiquid, small and mid-cap stocks. The platform pro-actively drives the bookbuilding process, providing deal originators with opportunities to execute large volumes, often in excess of five days of ADV, with minimal market impact or risk of price erosion. While deal originators have real-time access to the entire life cycle of the bookbuilding process, allowing them to make distribution adjustments throughout, deal participants set their own preferences to ensure they are only exposed and alerted to relevant liquidity.  

Richard Worrell, Head of EMEA Equity Trading at Janus Henderson Investors, Chairman of the Investment Association Buyside Trading Committee, says: “Appital is an innovative company which has the potential to solve inefficiencies in accessing significant volume in less liquid securities. What’s more, the platform gives the buy-side greater control and transparency over their bookbuilding process.”

Greg Bennett, Chair of Appital and former Head of Capital Markets for EMEA & Americas for Fidelity International, says: “During my career in Equity Capital Markets I have seen first hand that illiquidity is a systemic problem for the market, diminishing returns for investors as well as adversely impacting the cost of capital for issuers. Appital’s technology brings innovation for institutional investors and provides a significant step change in enhancing the execution of illiquid flow and ECM business across the market.”

Appital is currently engaging with the majority of the top 40 global asset management firms who collectively manage over USD30 trillion, many of which are already participating in Appital’s Beta programme.

Appital’s robust technology infrastructure allows users to integrate into existing OMS and EMS systems and workflows. The platform offers full transparency and control over the bookbuilding, allocation and distribution process. End-to-end processes are secure, fully automated and deliver the visibility and transparency necessary for internal compliance, external audit and regulatory reporting.