U.S.-based VC firm Summit Partners announced it had acquired majority control of Frankfurt, Germany-based 360T, which provides multi-bank / multi-asset trading platforms. 360T recently expanded its retail FX product offerings by purchasing Finologic from Finotec. (Finotec was one of the early entrants in the retail FX business in the early 2000s, but has since refocused on the institutional market, and as such sold off its retail FX platform).
Summit knows the trading software space well, having been a pre-IPO investor in optionsXpress, which was acquired last year by Charles Schwab for about $1 billion. However this is somewhat of an unusual investment for Summit, which (as with most VCs) prefers to remain a significant but minority shareholder. For example, Summit held 32% of optionsXpress when it went public back in 2005. Rarely do individual VCs take majority control of companies.
What we also find interesting here is that several VC investments have been made in platforms which sell to or serve the retail FX industry – another example is Forex social network Currensee’s recent raise of $16 million from VCs including North Bridge, Egan-Managed Capital, and Vernon & Park – but VCs have been reluctant to invest directly in the retail Forex firms themselves.
Thanks to Paul Blank at Caplin Systems for pointing this out to us via his SingleDealerPlatforms.org blog.
For more information about Forex software platforms, and data on the leading providers of software trading systems to the retail FX sector, see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.