Primary Debt Market Fabric

Founded: September 2018

Products: A multi-currency, multi-product OTC platform for all primary debt market actors. It focuses on digitalising negotiation, issuance and distribution of securities such as Commercial Paper and Medium Term Notes. Onbrane also provides technology solutions for sustainable debt market actors.

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 has ambition to change for the better one of the last bastions of manual processing in the financial system.

The result is a multi-product, multi-currency OTC platform, built with and for the market community, now used daily by international issuers, dealers/brokers, investors, paying agents, clearers, etc.

Onbrane covers the main debt needs of corporates, public and financial institutions (plain vanilla debt, asset-backed debt, and sustainable debt) with standardised or semi-standardised debt products. Onbrane’s initial focus has been on the various CP markets around the world – NEU CP, EURO CP, and US CP. Its next step is to stretch the offering to the Medium-Term and Long-Term debt markets.

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

Onbrane covers all types of negotiation: Purchase by a dealer or via a broker, bi-lateral negotiation on all characteristics, validation at the discretion of the players, and the possibility to sell papers outside Onbrane. Whilst the chosen architecture has obvious benefits on the operational side, it also aims to improve the accessibility of reliable, traceable, and comparable information.

The Onbrane platform natively has the potential to be interconnected with any third-party software to facilitate full STP (ISIN code retrieval, sending confirmation, connection to OMS/TMS/ SWAP Platform, etc.), with multiple opportunities arising from this.

The company is diversifying its debt product with sustainable debts so that issuers can promote, issue, and negotiate all types of ESG debt instruments (green, social, sustainable, and sustainability-linked formats). Onbrane’s ESG module is live and has been built in close collaboration with various players in sustainable finance to provide a one-stop solution for ESG debt issuance.

Onbrane’s ESG offering covers the entire lifecycle of an ESG debt instrument for all types of players. Issuers can simplify planning and document management with a sustainable framework-builder. This tool enables issuers to create and share their frameworks, projects, KPIs, and reports with others, on a semi-standardised page that is compliant with market standards (such as ICMA and EU taxonomy). Also, issuers can streamline the collaboration and negotiation process by enabling digital validation, Q&A sessions, versioning, customised alerts, and visibility across all concerned parties including arrangers, investors, SPO providers, and data providers.

A specific module has been added to Onbrane to facilitate pre-trade exchanges for the asset-backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) market actors. This collaborative module enables ABCP issuers to provide relevant and fluid information on the characteristics of the underlying assets prior to Commercial Paper issuances. Resultantly, all the concerned parties are included in the project evolution and can easily track progress and versioning.

Additionally, Onbrane offers data intelligence services that cover all needs of the debt market players such as data discovery, analysis, utilisation, and management.

Onbrane is planning to use a public blockchain as the ‘incorruptible overseer’ of its 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 fully 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 50+ companies are using Onbrane, including Société Générale, Acoss, Unédic, Elis, Tradition, BioMérieux, Crédit Municipal de Paris.

Active region(s): Europe, US

Partners: n/a

Employees: 20

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: “Onbrane has been working in the Commercial Paper market for three years. Our first task was to solve well-identified pain points of the market by bringing all the market actors together on one platform, simplifying their interactions while respecting current user codes and neutrality. The result is a multi-product, multi-currency OTC platform, covering the needs of corporate, public, and financial institutions with standardised or semi-standardised debt products. We are focused on the current pain points but ready for the technologies of tomorrow.”

Website: www.onbrane.com

Email: [email protected]

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.