ING has spun out Katana, its artificial intelligence (AI) platform for bond pricing, into a London-based standalone company called Katana Labs. ING Ventures will invest a further £1.5 million alongside other investors, as part of a £3 million funding round.
Originally conceived as a tool for sell-side traders to price bonds more effectively for their buy-side clients, the firm has worked with asset managers including PGGM to develop support for portfolio managers in making faster and sharper investment decisions.
“A growing number of clients are discovering the advantages of using advanced analytics in decision-making. It enables them to work faster and more efficiently,” said Santiago Braje, CEO of Katana and former head of Credit Trading at ING.
Annerie Vreugdenhil, head of Innovation at ING Wholesale Banking said, “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 has 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.”