Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Fintech startup, iLex, closes seed funding round to digitally enhance the corporate loan market

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Kim Casper
Kim Casper
Singapore | A lifelong-learner, Kim aims to be a multi-disciplinarian in design x technology. With a penchant for adventure, she enjoys video-games like the Metal Gear series and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Though its entry into the startup arena is nascent having just been established last year, iLex has gone on to secure key investors from across the globe namely France, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US in the recent closure of its seed funding round ranging at a “couple of million” US dollars.

The Singapore-based company best describes its product as “the first all-to-all electronic market for corporate loans,” with the aim of “bringing enhanced liquidity, efficiency, intelligence and improved security to primary and secondary loan markets on a single platform.”

The fresh equity will allow iLex to kickstart its goals to digitally revolutionise the corporate loans market by developing the first rendition of its platform which will be equipped with iLex’s own AI matching engine, trading protocols, and data analytics tools. With plans to debut its platform in October, iLex is in the sights of six global corporate and investments financial institutions who have expressed interest to come on board its platform.

Elaborating on iLex’s value proposition, CEO and founder Bertrand Billon shared that “Despite being the world’s second-largest source of capital after equities, the corporate loan market remains primarily relationship-driven and relying on inefficient manual processes. As evidenced by the electronification of other asset classes such as equities, foreign exchange or bonds, significant benefits can be derived from an electronic market, including the lowering of costs and operational risks and improving liquidity and price discovery for the loan market.”

To add to the budding startup’s already impressive journey, iLex has also entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IHS Markit – an intelligence company that provides key insights and solutions for a myriad of industries – to partner on several strategic initiatives such as linking iLex’s platform to IHS Markit’s diverse set of solutions.

Commenting on the MOU, Billon mentioned that “Through strategic partnerships and integration with leading third-party solutions such as those from IHS Markit, we will enable straight-through processing of loan syndication and trading transactions, supported by the highest security, compliance and data privacy standards, as required by the market.”

Noting the significance of the MOU, IHS Markit’s Managing Director and Head of Financial Services for APAC, Kiet Tran, chimes in to share that “IHS Markit is an integral provider of infrastructure technology and solutions for the global loan markets. We are excited to partner with iLex to leverage our market-leading loan data, book-building and trade settlement platforms to support liquidity, transparency and the growth of loan markets in Asia Pacific.”

Billon helms iLex and leads the company together with Chief Operating Officer Marc Verlet, and Head of Business Development Arnaud Teissier. With iLex’s October plans in motion, 2020 would also see the company onboard international banks in the APAC region while looking forward to gaining over 100 market participants by end 2021.

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