Meet xChain – a Startup Developed by SIX

May 8, 2017

xChain is an online platform for Corporate Action data, where collaboration, social interaction and “connectedness” are core features we have focused on from inception and not afterthoughts.

The platform is the basis of a new ecosystem in the Corporate Action community, where all market participants can work on the same data in the “cloud” and thereby create one single version of truth for corporate action events. Additionally, direct chat between the users and discussions how to process complex events are only two key features which allows the market to come closer and thereby work more efficiently.Essentially, it reduces the redundant effort that is done across the industry. We are aware of the various market participants and intermediaries in the process of corporate action handling and strive for building a model suited for all. We are confident that by working very closely with key participants, the Corporate Action Expert Community, and by evolving our platform cooperatively, we can achieve this.

How did your team come together?

We are actually a startup coming from SIX. We have a team of four at the moment. Sergey is the lead, especially on the development topics. All three developers have worked closely together before and you can see how they operate as a great team on creating the xChain platform. They are always keen to understand the newest technologies and how they may apply to the problem domain. I have joined beginning of the year in order to strengthen the business side of xChain. Being in such a small team, we have grown together very quickly.

How did you get the idea and why did you wanted to create it?

SIX enables its employees to be innovative on all levels and has an internal tool, where everyone can enter their ideas. One idea has been analysed in details and was considered as not practical in the end. Instead of being disappointed, the efforts and especially the learnings on DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), were not lost. Instead we ‘pivoted’ the idea until it became xChain; a platform for collaborative validation of data - which makes especial sense for Corporate Action events.

What were you doing before joining F10?

We were, and essentially still are, working for SIX, but we are all coming from various teams. Sergey has previously been developing video games. You can see that on various parts on our platform. Imagine, when operational work starts being fun!By approaching the very traditional financial sector with the best technical features and tools from our private lives (Wikipedia, Slack, LinkedIn, Google Docs, games etc.), we aim to disrupt and improve the way corporate action experts work.

Why did you choose to apply to F10?

We are the first team of a corporate sponsor of F10 participating in this program. So far, this has been proven very beneficial. On one side it gives us a better chance to disrupt the existing value chain and on the other hand it allowed us to approach the right people in the banks directly.We also very much benefited from the coaching and mentoring the program provides.

How is your journey so far and what have you learned or achieved?

Mainly, what we have learned here in this program is to focus our energy on the essentials and the customer.The time flew by extremely quickly and it was interesting to do it together with other startups. In the end, we all had very similar challenges and were able to learn from each other.One of our key milestones is to finalized our MVP (Minimal Viable Product), which is a platform that works with the essentials: such as large data universe, chatting functionality, uploading of important documents, smart search engine and a user friendly interface.During the program we have verified key features and the usability directly with the end user.Also, we had a very successful Corporate Action Community Event, where we invited all those who are working on and with corporate actions in the Swiss financial market. The event was very well attended and we have received mostly positive and helpful feedback. Out of this we are currently in discussions with three banks to partner for the next phase. It is important to us to create the platform with the experts and users together in order to bring them the biggest value possible.

How is life for a startup in Zurich and at F10?

Personally I love Zürich! I have lived here for 4 years now and it has the perfect combination of being small but having everything. Especially Kreis 4 and 5 are changing daily and it is very exciting to work and live in the middle of it.

How do you find the F10 infrastructure?

It feels like home! The master class weeks are planned through and executed perfectly. I enjoy having a casual but productive working environment.

What is your message to the world?

We believe that the financial industry can gain efficiency by collaborating, by bringing the experts closer together and by learning from fast growing technology companies.After the industrialisation, standardisation and then automation of various aspects of human activity, we are now in a world where the social part becomes absolutely essential. Those non-automated tasks in operations, require the human, who can solve a complex situation. By sharing the expertise, we aim to enable everyone to have a worldwide impact by doing their usual daily job.

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