TradAir has announced today that it has closed a $15 million equity round led by private equity firm Long Ridge Equity Partners. The round was joined by existing investors Carmel Ventures and Genesis Partners. According to TradAir, the funding is being billed as growth capital to expand usage of its FX liquidity technology.
For Long Ridge, the investment in TradAir continues their interest in the FX and institutional liquidity space. Last year the firm was an investor in Portware, whose product line includes multi-asset pre-trade monitoring and transaction cost analysis solutions. In addition, Long Ridge has been a long term holder in FXCM shares, having acquired a stake in 2007, well before their IPO. The company was also a previous investor of Currenex before their sale to State Street.
Simultaneous to the funding news, TradAir has also announced the hiring of former Currenex CEO Ciff Lewis as the company’s chairman.
Long Ridge Managing Partner Jim Brown said, “The company has developed a strong reputation as a technology leader and client feedback is very positive. We are excited by the opportunity to partner with the TradAir team to build a leading technology business.”
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Competing in the FX aggregation space with their TLA (Total Liquidity Analysis) module, TradAir has been focusing on the distribution side of the market. As such, they have had success in marketing their technology to banks with a need to both aggregate numerous FX pricing sources as well as distribute this internally to their clients and externally to ECNs and trading platforms such as Currenex, EBS, Bloomberg and 360T.
For banks, the ability to distribute externally potentially offers an additional market-making revenue source. Demand for distribution technology is specifically noted from regional banks which are able to use such FX systems to price their local currencies, of which their domestic order flow provides a competitive advantage globally.
In addition to their TLA offering, TradAir has also garnered attention for its front-end HTML5 trading interface. Together with their back-end TLA product, the combined offering provides an end-to-end single-dealer platform solution for banks. The platform first became notable as it was chosen by Tradition as a front end GUI for their ParFX ECN. As a result of demand for the product, TradAir released an updated version of the HTML5 front-end system as a white label-suitable trading platform.
Simultaneous to the funding news, TradAir has also announced the hiring of former Currenex CEO Ciff Lewis as the company’s chairman. The hiring presumably is expected to help TradAir increase its profile within the institutional FX industry among existing liquidity aggregation customers.
Commenting on the hiring, CEO of TradAir Illit Geller commented, “His deep domain knowledge, visionary views and extensive relationships will be an invaluable resource to TradAir.” In relation to the existing technology that is in place at TradAir, Lewis stated, “TradAir’s IT development capability will be the foundation for success. We’ll be focused on helping clients make money by deploying our products as the FX and rates markets continue their rapid evolution.”