Following the closing of a $10 million investment round, OpenDoor Trading, LLC (“OpenDoor”) has become the first U.S. bond trading platform both majority-owned and majority-controlled by women. The funds will be used to support technology and business development of an innovative ‘all-to-all’ trading platform for off-the-run Treasuries and TIPS. Launch is scheduled for the fall.
OpenDoor, which was co-founded by industry veterans Susan Estes and Brian Meehan less than three years ago, is quickly developing traction with central banks, asset managers and other institutional investors, as well as the dealers that service them. Discreet trading sessions will allow a variety of protocols to match the needs of end-users, and improve liquidity in the systemically important U.S. Treasury market.
The latest investments in the platform include a sizeable stake from a female investor, as well as bond trading legend John Brynjolfsson. Hartfield, Titus & Donnelly – the municipal broker-dealer led by former Co-Head of the Americas for ICAP, Ron Purpora, also has an ownership stake in OpenDoor.
“OpenDoor will provide a compelling source of liquidity to off-the-run U.S. Treasury and TIPS trading,” said Estes, CEO of OpenDoor. “It has only been possible to get to this stage – and address the most significant pain points within a new market structure – because of consistent input from participants. This feedback is reflected in the features of our trading platform which we believe will result in a more credible, robust and accessible marketplace.”
Estes and the other female investor now control more than 65% of the voting interest in OpenDoor after the raise, which was completed at a pre-money valuation of $40 million. This follows an initial seed funding round in late-2015.
Estes has more than three decades of executive management experience in global financial services, running major trading operations for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Countrywide. At Countrywide she built the first new domestic primary dealer approved by the FRBNY in over 20 years. While at Countrywide she also successfully launched several other non-mortgage rates trading businesses and established futures and derivative products subsidiaries.
Estes is the first woman to have served on the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee (TBAC). The TBAC provides guidance to the U.S. Treasury on its borrowing needs as well as to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on topical market issues. Estes served under Treasury Secretaries Snow and Paulson as well as Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke.
ABOUT OPENDOOR TRADING
OpenDoor Trading (ODT) improves liquidity across off-the-run Treasuries (OFTR’s) and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), through a proprietary trading platform that is anonymous, all-to-all, cost effective and session-based. OpenDoor Trading offers free access to its browser-based platform. Customers include some of the world’s largest asset managers, central banks, primary dealers, hedge funds, and trading firms.