Onbrane

Primary Debt Market Fabric

Founded: September 2018

Products: An independent OTC platform on the Primary Debt market, focusing on instruments such as Commercial Paper and Medium Term Notes as well as Impact financing.

Overview: Onbrane was born three years ago, in a meeting between a group of technologists and a large issuer that wanted a new way to negotiate and issue Commercial Paper. The meeting revealed the complexity of the industry processes, its pain points, and the lack of a platform and solution providers. 

Onbrane’s goal is to modernise the issuance and settlement of debt products by bringing together all stakeholders in a single, secure environment.

The result is a multi-product, multi-currency OTC platform, built with the market community, for issuers, dealers/brokers and investors.  Onbrane is focusing on various CP markets around the world (currently NEUCP, ECP and USCP). Its next step is taking up the Medium-Term and Long-Term debt markets.

Onbrane’s goal is to modernise the issuance and settlement of debt products by bringing together all stakeholders in a single, secure environment. Whilst the chosen architecture has obvious benefits on the operational side, it also aims to improve the accessibility of reliable, traceable and comparable information.

It is hoped that this level of financial transparency for all stakeholders, whether specialised or not, will help strengthen the confidence in a modern financial system.

The company is diversifying its debt products with sustainable debt such as green, social and sustainability instruments. Their sustainable module is now live and provides issuers with a framework building tool to create and share their frameworks with investors while improving transparency and traceability of funds and impacts. This module follows the recommendations of the ICMA principles and was designed with a number of market participants. As of 2021, Onbrane users can also add their ESG ratings and have access to sustainable market data visualisation.

A specific module has been added to Onbrane to facilitate Pre-Trade exchanges between Asset-Backed Commercial Paper issuers and their counterparties. This module allows issuers to provide relevant and fluid information on the characteristics of the underlying assets covering their Commercial Paper issuances. This allows their counterparties to see the evolution of the latter over time, directly ask issuers about each element of the product, and better comprehend it overall.

The addition of this unique module was made in parallel with the development of USCP on the platform, as Asset-Backed USCP is an important part of the USCP market.

Onbrane will use a public blockchain as the ‘incorruptible overseer’ of Onbrane’s activities. All transactions made on Onbrane will be hashed and recorded on the public Bitcoin blockchain. Hashing the characteristics of a transaction allows the system to generate a unique and totally anonymous code. At any time, Onbrane or its users will be able to compare the transactions recorded on the blockchain with those in the Onbrane database, verifying that they have not been corrupted. This process of Proof-of-Integrity is totally confidential: no one can know what counterparties are involved in a transaction recorded on the blockchain and only the users impacted by a breach of data integrity are notified.

Clients: All market players can access the platform including financial/non-financial/supranational issuers, dealers, brokers, asset managers, and institutional investors. Currently 100+ companies are already or in the process of onboarding including BNP AM, NATIXIS IB, Société Générale, Acoss, and Unédic.

Active region(s): Europe, US

Partners: n/a

Employees: 15

Funding: Onbrane has raised a total of €2.2m in funding over three rounds. Its latest funding was raised on September 30 from a pre-SERIES A round.

Onbrane is funded by 40 investors, mostly Business Angels.

Ownership: 66% of shares are still in the hands of founders and employees.

Elevator pitch: “At Onbrane, we have been working for three years within the Commercial Paper market. Our first task was to solve well-identified pain-points in the market by bringing all the actors (issuers, dealers, brokers, investors, clearers, paying agents, and so on) together on one platform, and by simplifying their interactions while respecting current user codes and neutrality. The result is a multi-product, multi-currency OTC platform. Our platform is live for the EURO CP, NEU CP, USCP, NEU MTN. Other debt securities will be implemented soon. In the long term, we want to use high potential technologies like blockchain to radically improve the Commercial Paper market.”

Website: www.onbrane.com

Email: contact@onbrane.com

Phone:+33 (0) 1 40 76 09 51

TMI view: By digitally shifting the existing somewhat archaic CP markets up several gears, Onbrane is offering a solution that in its short life so far has attracted some big names. This suggests it is answering a genuine need, and doing it rather well.

Verdict: The firm has ambition to change for the better one of the last bastions of manual processing in the financial system. It needs to move beyond its French stronghold but given its target market, there is no reason to see why it won’t.