Pico’s addition of Intel Capital as a new investor – announced last week – completes the trading infrastructure specialist’s $135 million Series C investment round, setting in place the foundation for its next phase of growth. Encouraged by the success of its 2018 purchase of Corvil, Pico intends spending at least some of that cash on strategic acquisitions.
Intel Capital, Intel Corp.’s global investment organization, joins a number of new and existing investors in Pico’s Series C, among them Asia-based strategic partner EDBI and new investor CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund. Other key strategic investors and Pico clients include Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, UBS, Nomura, DRW Venture Capital, Chicago Trading Company, Capital Markets Trading and Simplex Investments.
According to Jarrod Yuster, Pico’s chairman, founder and co-CEO, Intel Capital’s investment was unsolicited, with conversations originating from an investor referral as well as Intel’s relationship with Corvil, as an important partner providing processors for its hardware appliances. Yuster says working with Intel Capital follows Pico’s approach over the past 11 years of working with strategic investors who bring to the table access to clients, partnerships, relationships and technologies, rather than with purely financial investors.
Indeed, Pico recently introduced Intel’s second-generation Xeon Scalable platform with built-in AI acceleration in its fifth-generation analytics appliance. With this latest funding round, Pico and Intel will collaborate to deliver a 100Gbps network data capture and real-time streaming analytics platform for trading. Early-stage development is also underway around building a financial services lab, where Pico and Intel can work with top clients to incubate new concepts around AI processing, machine learning, network and trade analytics, and cloud monitoring.
Yuster says the new funding will allow Pico to “continue to realize our differentiating strategy of investing in building the most globally comprehensive, robust, scalable and high-performance infrastructure in the financial services industry that meets clients current and future needs.” He points to recent developments including increased capacity, resiliency and diversity of the PicoNet global financial services network and introducing 100Gbps dark-fibre and 40Gbps native bandwidth access underpinned by a pure optical backbone network.
As a result, Pico’s real-time and machine intelligence solution, Corvil Analytics, is now enabled for 100Gb networks to monitor new higher throughput environments. The new funding will allow Pico to continue investing in its technology platform with automation tools for quicker and deterministic delivery with accuracy and oversight.
“Fortunately, the Corvil acquisition has gone extremely well, with the business growing more than 40% year-over-year,” Yuster says. “This success has helped fuel our capital raise, giving opportunities for future strategic acquisitions.
He adds: “We have seen significant interest in Corvil Analytics driven by increase in volatility and message traffic volumes along with the need for 100Gb packet capture and network monitoring. Additionally, Corvil’s rich data capture and trade analytics provides substantial opportunities for quantitative traders, AI data scientists, developers and business units to leverage Corvil’s functionality as a data source and to gain insights into execution quality and algorithmic trading development. This is a broad audience and substantial growth opportunity.”