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OpenFin’s Attack on the ‘Toggle Tax’ in Financial Apps Earns it a $35 Million Series D Round


Like a Bloomberg Terminal from the post-internet era, Open fin was a start-up that joined the revolutionary world of user interfaces for fast-moving information in 2010. If you think back, those old interfaces were no good, to say the least. Remember what it was like to order a taxi 15 years ago? Any app that made that experience better became a way to do that own the user. And similarly, OpenFin realized it could provide highly up-to-date information to highly-pressed users in the financial world, increasing their productivity by several degrees. It seems so simple, really.

But that simplicity today led OpenFin to secure a $35 million Series D funding round, bringing it to $82 million to date. This round was led by Bank of America with significant participation from Pivot Investment Partners and ING Ventures. Other investors in the round include CME Ventures, CTC Venture Capital, SC Ventures and Tribeca Early Stage Partners.

OpenFin’s web-based operating system has managed to establish itself in the financial services market as an interface to applications, and the company says it’s now used by more than 3,800 banks, asset managers and asset managers in more than 60 countries.

Admittedly, one of the main competitors is Island, which touts itself as a secure web browser for the enterprise. To date, that company has raised $285 million from Insight Partners and Sequoia Capital, among others.

However, it is clear that there is more at stake than just a battlefield of browsers.

The so-called ‘toggle tax’, where users switch from one app to another hundreds of times a day, is known to take an inordinate amount of time, and time, especially in the financial world, is money.

During an interview, OpenFin CEO Mazy Dar told me, “We realized that the problem we were solving was not specifically a financial one. It’s a real business problem… where you have desktops that are locked down.”

“Think of this as Spotlight Search on steroids. A single search interface that connects to all the apps you use. So with one search you can search all apps and get really rich results that can then boost workflow,” he added.

Other major OpenFin investors include Barclays, CME Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, HSBC, ING Ventures, JP Morgan, SC Ventures, and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. VC investors include Bain Capital Ventures and NYCA Partners.

The company claims the number of financial institutions using OpenFin has reached 3,800 across more than 60 countries, with the latest deal with the London Stock Exchange. The company has also expanded its footprint into the US government sector through a strategic partnership and investment from In-Q-Tel (the CIA’s investment arm).

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