Thursday, February 16, 2017

Taking the sandbox to Wall Street

Well done OpenFin.
The vision, according to OpenFin CEO Mazy Dar, a former chief strategy officer at Creditex, is to become to Wall Street what iOS and Android are to the mobile application world."When you have the iOS layer, and Android, that is the layer that enables developers to know what they are building their app in," Dar said. That's what OpenFin aims to become.The firm already has 35 investment banks and trading firms signed up, according to Dar, and it powers applications licensed on over 100,000 desktops. He said the firm has been increasing revenue 100% year-over-year for the past few years and is close to being cash flow positive. The $15 million investment will enable the firm to expand — Dar plans to double headcount from 25 in New York and London currently to 50 within a year.The aim is to become "the industrywide operating layer," he said. Right now, OpenFin is typically delivered to a desktop together with an application that runs on it. The hope is that, in time, OpenFin will be on the desktop independent of any application, becoming a kind of finance application ecosystem of its own."OpenFin enabled us to reach hundreds of client desktops instantly with an operating layer already vetted by many major banks and financial institutions," said Tony Schiavo, chief technology officer at TruMid.There are three key pillars to OpenFin's strategy. The first is to have apps that can be downloaded and updated easily — the same way you would download apps on your phone — and then have them update regularly.Then there's the layer of security, a key issue for any Wall Street institution. Finally, there is interoperability, or letting the apps talk to one another — the same way social media apps connect on your phone."We're in a world where apps are siloed and by and large do not talk to one another," Dar said. "The human sitting in front of the six monitors is the integration layer. With OpenFin, they are now able to talk to one another, share data and contacts."

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