Singapore-based fintech BondEvalue has raised USD6 million in its Series A round of fund raising, with MassMutual Ventures Southeast Asia and Citigroup among the new investors. Both institutions are expected to be represented on the board.
The latest round brings the total raised by the company to USD10 million and affirms investor confidence as its digital exchange for trading fractionalised bonds continues to gain momentum.
Other investors included existing shareholders Potato Productions, a company helmed by entrepreneur Lee Han Shih, and Octava, a Singapore-based family office.
BondEvalue was established in 2016 to provide electronic bond trading and to make bond investments accessible to a wider group of individual investors. Last October, it received a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to operate BondbloX Bond Exchange, the world’s first fractional bond exchange.
The company’s proprietary technology and enterprise-grade blockchain enables BondbloX investors to buy and sell bonds in denominations of US$1,000 instead of the usual USD200,000, and through a public exchange where prices are highly transparent.
BondEvalue Co-Founder and CEO Rahul Banerjee says: “Citi and MassMutual are behemoths in the bond market. Their support of our vision to have a transparent bond market will accelerate our momentum.
“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.”
BondEvalue will use the proceeds to increase its international members. It also announced its joint venture (JV) in Mexico that is headed by Jaime Zenizo, previously head trader for HSBC Mexico. The JV will form a Peso bond exchange and represents the first local currency expansion by BondEvalue.
Anvesh Ramineni, Managing Director at MassMutual Ventures, says:“Investing in corporate bonds has typically been out of reach for most retail investors in Asia. BondEvalue is changing that by bringing greater transparency and democratising access to the fixed income asset class. We are very excited to partner with Rahul and the BondEvalue team and look forward to supporting them on their journey.”
Chris Cox, Global Head of Data and Digitisation and Strategic Projects, and EMEA Head of Securities Services at Citi, says: “We are delighted to close our investment in BondEvalue. Alongside Northern Trust, Citi will join the BondbloX Bond Exchange as an asset servicing provider and as a strategic partner to the BondEvalue ecosystem. We are excited about the prospect of digitalisation of traditional assets and to be part of that journey with BondEvalue.”
Deepak Mehra, Citi’s Asia Head of Strategic FinTech Investments and Electronification, adds: “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.
“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.”