Rebuilding the infrastructure for capital markets
When we were introduced to the Schvey brothers in October 2013 by a well-regarded west coast investor, they were a year into their first crypto business, TheGenesisBlock. Greg, a former debt capital markets specialist at Citi, and Jeff, a former missile engineer at Raytheon, had been actively mining, trading and writing research papers.
Bitcoin was trading at a little over $300 and much of the activity at the time was over the counter, between parties who were speculating. Institutional parties were not active and in many cases were either skeptical or actively lobbying against emerging blockchain players in Washington, D.C.
Greg and Jeff created instant credibility, combining deep technical skills with an understanding of process and decision-making on the institutional side.
Reactions to our investment varied from disdain and sheer horror to mild interest. The reactions were a clear indicator of just how early institutional participation in crypto was at the time. Across the board, financial firms expressed reputational fear at being associated in any way with the market.
At the time, the blockchain and crypto space was dominated by Reddit users, and most of the activity in the space was focused on the core infrastructure of mining (make it), exchanges (get it), and wallets (hold it). There wasn’t a lot of “use it.”. Any additional investment was focused on merchant-consumer transactions and cross-border remittances. Our perspective was that there was a third vector – institutional finance – which represented a sizeable opportunity.
By 2016, global institutions had caught on and were mobilizing, scrambling to finish the year with commitments to specific projects where they could pilot the blockchain. Greg and Jeff continued to prove the most credible players in key market infrastructure conversations.
A year later, on the heels of major pilot wins with the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation and two other institutions, the Schveys spun out Axoni as a capital markets infrastructure company, focused on the $55b annual spend on post-trade processing. In the process, they created a clear delineation between the software applications of the blockchain (Axoni, the new company) and the digital currency applications (TradeBlock, the trade name for what was originally TheGenesisBlock).
When we think about blockchain technology, what we really think about is the application of it to solve for data synchronization
Greg Schvey, CEO
Using Axoni’s technology, trading counterparties achieve a continuously synchronized “golden record” of transactions. Through smart contracts within AxCore, trade lifecycle events can be processed with full transparency, and cash flow and payment information are inherently synchronized across systems and counterparties. As a result, industry players stand to save tens of millions of dollars each per year.
FinTech Collective first invested in Axoni/TradeBlock in the seed round in February 2014.
Current Status: Active
Axoni In The News
- Nov 09, 2018 Goldman Sachs Honors Axoni Co-founders For Entrepreneurship Goldman Sachs are pleased to recognize Greg and Jeff as two of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2018.
- Nov 06, 2018 DTCC and 15 global banks enter testing with AxLang by Axoni [...enter summary text here]
- Oct 24, 2018 Axoni named to Y-Combinator Top 100 Axoni (W2014) enters YC’s new Top 100 List at #59. The list is ranked by valuation.
- Aug 14, 2018 Axoni closes Series-B led by Goldman Sachs Enterprise blockchain startup Axoni help finish moving some of the largest financial infrastructures in the world to te…
- Sep 06, 2018 Axoni Named to LinkedIn Top 50 Startups in US Here are this year’s Top 50 Startups in the U.S.
- Dec 22, 2016 Wells Fargo, ICAP Lead $18 Million Series A New York-based blockchain startup Axoni has raised $18m in a new funding.