Kooltra, a cloud platform that helps financial institutions and non-bank firms modernize and automate foreign exchange (FX) operations, announced today it has completed a $6.5 million CAD investment round from Hyde Park Venture Partners, Round 13 Capital, Salesforce Ventures and existing investor Real Ventures. This closes Kooltra’s early stage financing at $8.8 million CAD.
With $5.1 trillion traded on worldwide FX markets every day, there is a huge opportunity for organizations of all sizes to run successful FX businesses. The legacy technology stack, manual processes and spreadsheets that have traditionally enabled FX operations are expensive, complicated to use and prone to error. Kooltra helps financial institutions save their customers money while simultaneously increasing margins and profits by making the process more efficient.
Kooltra already processes billions of dollars in daily transactions for customers spread across Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. The company is now expanding in the U.K., where 40 percent of global FX is traded, and the United States, where few solutions exist because global trade has traditionally been done in U.S. dollars and banks are ill-equipped to handle increasing demand with their current infrastructure.
The company will use the new funding to grow its engineering, sales and customer success teams, further build out its platform, expand operations into the U.K. and pursue the more than 3,000 prospective regional and community bank as well as credit union customers across the U.S.
“The opportunity to transform the foreign exchange market is massive,” said Greg Barnes, principal at Hyde Park Venture Partners. “The more we understand about banks’ and non-banks’ return on investment, the more we’ll be able to spread cloud-driven automation, compliance and efficiency gains to players up and down the ecosystem.”
“We’ve always held a core belief in democratizing foreign exchange and capital markets as a whole,” said Adam Katz, CEO and founder of Kooltra. “The barriers to entering this business simply shouldn’t be as high as they are, particularly in this age of technological innovation and global trade, so we’re tearing them down.”
Money services businesses, banks and credit unions can leverage Kooltra to streamline their internal operations for specialized FX solutions, improve their clients’ international trade experiences and maintain compliance with stringent regulations. Furthermore, by bringing the FX business in-house, regional and community banks no longer have to pay significant fees to upstream banks to complete transactions for them or hire pricy developers to custom build and maintain their own software.
Small and large brokerages, hedge funds, market makers and other firms that redistribute liquidity to the market can aggregate, manage, process and analyze a large number of FX transactions, replace rigid legacy technology with process-driven automation that scales and save hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars in licenses, processing infrastructure, implementations, maintenance and software upgrades.
Kooltra’s intuitive solution leverages Salesforce as an enterprise data platform. Customers can access Kooltra cloud apps and APIs to manage their front, middle and back office and reporting while relying on Salesforce’s industry-leading IT infrastructure, security and data compliance.
“Kooltra has found a brilliant way to extend the power of the Salesforce platform,” said Matt Garratt, managing partner at Salesforce Ventures. “They are a great example of why Salesforce Ventures sees so much promise in Canadian tech, and we’re thrilled to help them grow and continue to innovate.”
Katz identified the need for automation and started building on the Salesforce platform in 2010 while working at a mid-tier FX firm, where he experienced the abundant inefficiencies and gratuitous technology investments firsthand. Aiming to provide the industry’s first practical solution, he launched Kooltra in 2014.