Venture capital firm Edison Ventures has announced that they have invested in OptionsCity, a Chicago provider of options and multi-asset trading platforms. Among venture firms, Edison Ventures continues its focus to back financial related startups servicing the banking, electronic trading, and payment processing sectors. Within electronic trading, notable investments of Edison Ventures include GAIN Capital, EdgeTrade, Derivatives Portfolio Management (which have been exited via and IPO or company sale) and TraderTools.
For OptionsCity, “the investment will accelerate the Company’s sales and marketing efforts, product innovation and international expansion.” Having been founded in 2006, OptionsCity launched Metro in 2007, an “end to end electronic market making and trading platform” for the options industry. In 2011 they expanded their reach with the release of Freeway, “a multi-asset automated trading platform designed for deploying user-built algorithmic strategies.” Stating why they chose to receive funds from Edison, OptionsCity CEO Hazem Dawani said “We selected Edison as a partner – after thorough due diligence – based on their impressive track record of fast-growing businesses as well as their commitment and knowledge of the Financial Technology sector. We’re excited to begin a new chapter in the growth of our firm.”
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Despite a long track record of financial related investments, OptionsCity marks Edison Ventures for funding of a Chicago firm. Chris Sugden, Managing Partner at Edison Ventures stated “OptionsCity is a proven innovator. We believe Freeway represents the next major development for options and futures trading. Traders demand a multi-asset capability where they can quickly test and deploy new strategies. OptionsCity’s customers repeatedly confirmed this capability”. Mike Cichowski, Principal at Edison Ventures added “OptionsCity is a profitable, fast growing company bringing innovative technology to the derivatives market. We are excited to partner with the management team and assist with the company’s global expansion
In an interesting twist, Edison Ventures also announced that Joe Wald, former CEO of EdgeTrade and current Executive Vice President at Gain Capital who has recently become in charge of the broker’s GTX Institutional division would be joining the Board of Directors at OptionsCity. As GTX is one of Gain Capital’s few bright spots at the moment, the appointing of Joe Wald follows Gain’s goal of continuing to diversify beyond the retail forex market. As such, it will be worth watching how the current Gain/FXCM takeover developments affect the future of GTX and whether it will remain a standalone unit or merged within FXCM if the acquisition takes place. When questioned about GTX, a spokesperson from FXCM declined to comment, citing “At this point in the process, we cannot provide more specifics about our post-merger integration plans. “