Seven-figure investment in - BFB Frühphasenfonds invests in technical service provider for financial services companies

The Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg, launched by Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) on behalf of the Brandenburg Ministry of Economics and managed by bmp, has acquired a stake in GmbH (SmartTrade).

SmartTrade develops information technology solutions for banks, online brokers, internet finance portals and similar market participants in the field of structured securities. Founded as recently as February 2014, the company has already developed a functioning product and acquired its first prominent customers. The founders and managing directors, Simon Ulrich, Dr. habil. Sönke Blunck and Lilia Nerusch, intend to use the new funds for further development of the technical solution, certification and applications for intellectual property rights.

In recent years, issuers of structured securities have been subject much more stringent regulatory requirements, which account for a very high share of production costs. This is where the technology developed by SmartTrade comes in, as it automates both the issuing process and an important part of the management process for structured securities.

“We develop our SmartTrade technology as what is known as ‘core satellite infrastructure’. It allows us to cover the different use cases of the various market participants and also to respond flexibly to the requirements of new use cases,” explains Dr. habil Sönke Blunck. “Some modules of our technology fulfil the extensive documentation and reporting requirements of issuing banks on an automated basis. Other modules perform functions such as monitoring price and sales risks or determining the relative attractiveness of structured securities in terms of their yields. Here we combine tasks that are usually performed by different market participants and transform them into automated work process structures.”

Simon Ullrich adds: “The individual satellite in this context is a separate IT solution for the requirements of a particular use case. It consists of a process of production steps. But because the different satellites display an overlap of identical production steps, we map these identical steps in a core technology. In this way, we generate synergies that allow us to pass on the production results at competitive prices and, above all, lead to a crucial information advantage for our customers.”

Andreas van Bon, member of the Executive Board of bmp, comments: “SmartTrade offers a service for issues that in some cases will not become relevant until the future when further capital market regulations take effect. But like the founders, who are very experienced in the field of derivatives, we are convinced that SmartTrade’s unique solution perfectly caters to customers’ current and future needs.”

About BFB Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg GmbH:
BFB Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg GmbH (Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg) invests in young, innovative companies in the State of Brandenburg with the aim of strengthening the equity base of these companies in the early phase. The fund, which has a volume of EUR 25 million, was designed and set up by InvestitionsBank des Landes Brandenburg (ILB) on behalf of the Ministry for Economics and European Affairs of the State of Brandenburg. 75% of the fund’s resources are provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), 20% by budget funds of the State of Brandenburg and 5% by bmp Beteiligungsmanagement AG. bmp ( ) has been commissioned to manage the fund. In addition to GmbH, the fund’s current portfolio comprises 23 other Brandenburg companies.

About bmp:
With a background in and experience of more than 120 investments in almost all technology segments, and more than 50 exits in the form of IPOs and trade sales, bmp Beteiligungsmanagement AG is one of the most experienced venture capital investors in Germany. bmp also advises the listed company bmp media investors AG (ISIN DE0003304200).


Corinna Riewe
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