OpenFin Raises $4 Million To Bring HTML5 Apps To The Financial Services Industry

Financial services-focused software developer OpenFin has raised $4 million in a new round of funding to help financial services firms update their technology infrastructure and junk the Bloomberg terminal.

For decades, financial services firms have relied on expensive terminals and desktop applications, because there was no secure way for applications to operate effectively in a browser, according to Matt Harris, a managing director with Bain Capital Ventures, and the lead on OpenFin’s latest financing.

OpenFin sells technology to change that dynamic, Harris said.

“At the fintech infrastructure layer it is very hard to get applications on the desktops of these financial services professionals,” said Harris. “These firms are some of the last places you see on premise software.”

One of the reasons that terminals persist in financial services organizations is because it’s hard to distribute software to the desktop securely, according to Harris. “If you solve the problem of getting better, modern applications, and provide more choices for the desktop you don’t need the terminal anymore,” he said.

New York-based OpenFin uses technology based on Google’s Chromium open-source project allowing HTML5 applications to provide a native desktop experience in a highly secure and managed runtime environment, the company said.

“Firms are faced with the daunting task of building their own app container in order to deploy a rich HTML5 application,” said Chuck Doerr, president and chief operating officer of OpenFin, in a statement. “OpenFin eliminates the need for each firm to build their own container, cutting development costs and speeding time-to-market.”

Cash from the round will be used for product development and engineering team expansion in both New York and London, according to a statement.

In conjunction with the new financing, OpenFin announced that it hired Mark Josling, a former developer of fixed income and credit trading platforms at the Intercontinental Exchange, as vice president of applications.

The company already has three global banks that are using the browser to deploy single dealer platforms. Customers get a software in a package that enables them to distribute their own applications to their end customers, said chief executive officer Mazy Dar. “There are literally thousands of proprietary applications in financial services that could use software like what we’ve developed,” he said.

Founded in 2010, OpenFin was a graduate of the First Growth Venture Network, a New York-based accelerator, and the FinTech Innovation Lab, a program sponsored by the Partnership Fund for New York City, Accenture, major financial institutions and several venture capital firms.

Photo via Flickr user Guilhem Vellut