Every company wants solutions that are intuitive and innovative for their finances. Your hedge fund and financial managers are not cutting it, and you need to outsource the job. What you need, is InvestCloud. With their design applets they deal with the client communication, portfolio management and even operational management side of things, for a first class investment platform.
John Wise, InvestCloud’s Chairman and CEO, tells AlleyWatch about the recent funding as well as where to start to join the InvestCloud bandwagon.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $45 million from FTV Capital in a Series B round.
Tell us about your product or service.
InvestCloud’s proprietary technology platform enables a range of investment managers — including wealth advisors, single- and multi-family offices, pensions/ endowments, fund administrators and independent wealth platforms — to build and customize digital experiences that both streamline internal operations and present a branded customer-facing portal. The platform’s highly configurable modules integrate dozens of disparate internal and external financial systems, accounts and products — handling client communications, client management, portfolio management, operational management and platform repository.
What inspired you to start the company?
InvestCloud was a vision originally triggered by an article I read in 2008 in the Financial Times titled “The Cloud.” It was given to me by one of my board members. I had no idea about the meaning of the cloud, and I was very cynical about it and put the concept into a return to mainframe computing but now I know how wrong I was. The penny dropped 2 years later when thinking how to solve the problems of my last company, Netik (now Markit). From Netik, I learned that financial institutions of all sizes suffer from the tyranny of Excel spreadsheets and legacy technology, as well as the risk and friction of disparate data systems. This problem is rooted in the programming culture of the past, which dictated that new features must be hard-coded. Therefore, after selling Netik, I had a vision for building a fully integrated fintech platform that was fully cloud native and would focus on a single, clean source of data and thousands of lightweight applets that can be combined and configured into solutions in days and weeks rather than months and years. This solution enables dynamic access to information via any device for both internal and external clients.
How is it different?
InvestCloud builds institutional quality financial applets that quickly scale in a consistent manner. We deploy ‘sets’ of these applets to meet the customization needs of clients in a rapid and repeatable manner. To achieve this vision, InvestCloud has created: a) an Applet Generator; b) an Interactive Data Repository / Warehouse IDRTM; and c) an Interactive Data Library IDLTM.
The Applet Generator enables one business analyst to do the job of 50 programmers. The InvestCloud Interactive Data Repository / Warehouse is a model of the securities industry that pre-defines the vast majority of asset classes used within the financial markets. The Interactive Data Library IDLTM is a library of business services, such as real-time position keeping and P&L, risk exposure, rebalancing, and performance analytics.
InvestCloud has created hundreds of information views, workflows and data collection applets, enabling the system to handle a nearly infinite number of custom clients’ needs. Using the Applet Generator these views were created in days rather than the weeks or months required by tradition coding approaches. Also significant is that the InvestCloud applets are pre-integrated to financial market exchanges, custodians, pricing vendors, government filing services and news aggregators. This pre-integration helps reduce implementation cycles from months and years to weeks and days.
In addition, InvestCloud emphasizes on the concept of Design First. We are not only able to reduce the amount of time to build applications; we are also able to move design closer to the real designer and client, making customization truly cost effective and beautiful.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
The market is wide due to our applet approach and there are 18,000 players that include family offices, RIA’s, wealth managers, hedge funds, and 690 institutions and include very large asset managers, fund administrators, custodians, and brokers/prime brokers.
What’s your business model?
InvestCloud employs a fully cloud-delivered SaaS model with added professional services associated with implementation.
What was the funding process like?
Due to the success we had seen since our founding in 2010, several prominent venture and private equity firms had approached us. InvestCloud’s President, Colin Close, and I led the funding process from FTV Capital that started around Christmas during 2014, and it took 9 months to complete the process.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital? Continuing to execute on our aggressive business plan without getting too distracted by the due diligence process.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The unique speed and flexibility of our applet generation process using business analysts (which allows for rapid prototyping); the seasoned experience of our management team in the fintech space; the proof of our successful implementations.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months? Substantially accelerating our sales and project delivery cycle as well as opening an office in London to address growing opportunities in Europe and the UK
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Prove the profitability and scalability of your model.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We plan to continue to build on our current success by expanding teams in Sales and Marketing, Professional Services, Product Development and Operations. Our ultimate plan is to have clients across the world.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy the fall weather in the area?