OpenFin and the Industry I Never Thought Was Going to be Disrupted by Open Source

Capital markets are notorious for being secretive, incredibly regulated and anti open source. Even though capital markets operators such as hedge funds have been active consumers of open source stacks they never been active contributors to the communities. It is not surprising that many of the most successful platforms in capital markets such as Palantir TEchnologies have been surrounded by secrecy when comes to their products and solutions. But those times are changing.

OpenFin, a startup trying to build an “operating system” for capital markets, recently scored bug with a $15 million funding round led by J.P Morgan with the participation of Bain Capital Ventures and NEX Euclid Opportunities as well as previous investors. The platform is attempting to disrupt capital markets by providing an open source stack that enables a common infrastructure for building and distributing applications for financial services.

OpenFin was developed on top of Google’s Chromium project and uses that platform as the main distribution channel. Currently, OpenFin is installed across over 100,000 desktops on 35 large banks and hedge funds such as J.P. Morgan, Citadel, Electronifie, ICAP, Greenkey and many others.

OpenFin markets itself as a way for companies building applications fro financial markets to operate efficiently across different programming environments, hedge funds or marketplaces. The platform sees itself as an Android for capital markets. Even that that analogy might need some revisions ;) there is a tremendous amount of value on OpenFin’s proposition.

Benefits of an Open Source Platform for Capital Markets

Looking at OpenFin’s architecture and distribution channels, it seems closer to models such as Docker or Cloudfoundry than to Android. Regardless, there are many benefits to OpenFin’s approach to capital market applications which are notorious fro requiring a lot of time and resources. Even in a market not accustomed to open source innovations, the benefits of a platform such as OpenFin are obvious.

1 — Uniform Distribution: Chromium provides OpenFin applications with a uniform model for distributing and provisioning applications for capital markets.

2 — Consistent Management Experience: OpenFin provides a consistent layer and tools for managing and monitoring fintech applications. In the near future, it is not crazy to expect to see advance management and monitoring platforms developed on top of OpenFin.

3 — Integration with Financial Institutions: OpenFin enables a layer of integration with banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions that streamlines the implementation of new capital market applications.

4 — Security: OpenFun enables a consistent layer for authentication, access control, data privacy and compliance for applications in financial markets.

5 — Contributions: Obviously, OpenFin active contributions from its developer community. as more financial institutions start using the platform, we should expect to see some of their IP contributed back to the community.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store