ING announced the spin-out of Katana, the advanced analytics platform that supports portfolio managers in making faster and sharper investment decisions. To enable further growth and to pave the way for an independent future for Katana, ING Ventures will invest a further £1.5m alongside other investors, as part of a £3 million funding round. Katana Labs ltd has incorporated in the UK and has its offices in London.
Katana is one of the currently 25 different innovation initiatives nurtured in one of the ING Labs in Amsterdam, London and Singapore. It is the latest start-up originated by ING that enters the scale-up phase, following other projects such as Yolt and Cobase. Katana uses computational power and a machine learning algorithm to scan the entire bond market systematically to detect anomalies, helping investors surface investment ideas and find opportunities faster. Katana is supported by investment teams at PGGM, one of the largest pension fund managers in the Netherlands, and other asset managers which have been using the tool and providing ING with feedback and market validation since the design of the first prototype in January 2018.
“A growing number of clients discover the advantages of using advanced analytics in decision-making. It enables them to work faster and more efficiently,” said Santiago Braje, former Head of Credit Trading at ING and CEO of Katana. “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, we are very excited about the opportunities we see in developing our platform further and expanding our client base.”
“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. A future that I’m sure will be very successful”, said Annerie Vreugdenhil, Chief Innovation Officer at ING Wholesale Banking.