Upstart trading venue IEX Group has raised $75m to help fund its efforts to become a registered U.S. stock exchange. IEX was featured by Michael Lewis in his controversial book, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt."
“Our intention from day one was to challenge the status quo by building a market that prioritizes the needs of traditional investors and issuer companies,” said IEX Chief Executive Brad Katsuyama. “We are encouraged by our recent growth, which has been driven by both investors and their brokers. This additional capital enables us to build and operate a world-class stock exchange.” IEX only accepts funding from so called “buy-side” firms – institutional investors and fund companies, as well as individuals and private equity. The company said its latest round of financing was led by boutique venture capital firm Spark Capital, and included Bain Capital Ventures, MassMutual Ventures, which is the venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, and investment manager Franklin Resources. As part of the financing deal, Alex Finkelstein, a general partner at Spark, which has invested in firms like Twitter and Wayfair, will join IEX’s board of directors, the company said. Other participants included private investment firms Cleveland Capital Management and TDF Ventures, as individual investors Jim Clark, who cofounded computer services company Netscape, and Steve Wynn, head of casino developer and operator Wynn Resorts.