Citi, JPMorgan and State Street back fintech startup Capitolis

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Citibank logo displayed outside the Citibank Plaza in Hong Kong


By Anna Irrera

LONDON (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:), Citigroup Inc (N:) and State Street Corp (N:) have invested $11 million in Capitolis, a New York-based technology startup that seeks to help banks use capital more efficiently, the companies said.

Capitolis, which was founded by Gil Mandelzis, a former senior executive at ICAP (LON:) and former Thomson Reuters Chief Executive Tom Glocer, will use the funding to grow its team and operations, the startup said. The company did not disclose its valuation.

Capitolis expects its team to grow to 90 people by the end of the year from 50 at start, Mandelzis said.

Founded in 2017, Capitolis has developed software to improve liquidity in capital markets by allowing banks to rapidly source capital needed for trades from other financial institutions with large balance sheets.

Regulations implemented following the 2008 financial crisis have increased the amount of capital banks must post as collateral for risky trades making it more costly for them to participate in some markets.

“Banks are constrained by the costs of capital, but there is a lot of capital in the world looking for returns,” Mandelzis said. “We are allowing the banks to tap into infinite sources of financing.”

Capitolis’ technology also allows banks to reduce the notional value of their derivatives portfolios by replacing multiple offsetting derivatives contracts with smaller residual trades. This frees up capital but is often done manually with spreadsheets and paperwork.

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To date the company says it has eliminated $5 trillion in overall positions for more than 50 financial institutions including JPMorgan, Citi and State Street.

“We are happy to support them as they invest and build technology that helps free up capital creating greater efficiencies within the global markets industry,” Troy Rohrbaugh, Head of Global Markets at JPMorgan, said in a statement.

Capitolis’ existing investors include Spark Capital, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

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