ING is to spin out bond analytics platform Katana, the latest graduate from the Dutch bank's fintech incubation labs.
Katana is one of the currently 25 different innovation initiatives nurtured at ING Labs in Amsterdam, London and Singapore, and is the third graduate to enter the scale-up phase, following other projects such as Yolt and Cobase.
Originating as a prototype applications in 2018, London-based Katana uses a machine learning algorithm to scan the entire bond market to detect anomalies and help investors surface profitable trading opportunities.
Santiago Braje, former head of credit trading at ING and CEO of Katana, says: “Supported by ING, we managed to develop, test and validate the technology. Now it’s time to move to the next phase as an independent fintech.”
To help pave the way for an independent future, ING Ventures will invest a further £1.5m alongside other investors, as part of a £3 million funding round in the startup.
Annerie Vreugdenhil, chief innovation officer at ING Wholesale Banking, comments: “At ING, when it comes to innovation, we step out of our comfort zone. We think big, start small and scale fast. In the past few years, Katana managed to grow from an internal innovation project to a serious value proposition for bond investors. We attracted major clients who see the added value of this super smart AI-tool. I’m proud that with our support Katana grew out to a fully-grown fintech that is ready for an independent future."