AxiCorp CEO Rajesh Yohannan speaks to FinanceFeeds about the firm’s multi million dollar VC funding round

“Yes, inorganic opportunities are an area of interest for us” – Rajesh Yohannan, CEO, AxiCorp

rajesh

Australian electronic trading stalwart AxiCorp is making strident moves forward, especially since the appointment of former OANDA Corporation Asia Pacific CEO Rajesh Yohannan to lead the company, following the path of AxiCorp founder Goran Drapac.

Mr. Yohannan is a bastion of sophistication, and is a regular speaker at conferences on subjects ranging from execution and how to structure a retail brokerage, to prime brokerage and liquidity provision across global markets, drawing on his vast knowledge of the non-bank and interbank FX sector.

In addition to retail FX, AxiCorp has its own prime brokerage, AxiPrime, which Mr. Yohannan also presides over.

During a very interesting discussion in Shanghai late last year, Mr. Yohannan explained to FinanceFeeds “Industry executives such as brokers and liquidity providers are concentrating on the way that a trade is executed, including how low the latency is, often spending huge resources on increasing execution speed, and how the liquidity is aggregated” he said.

 Rajesh Yohannan
Rajesh Yohannan discusses best execution in Shanghai, China, December 2015

“These factors are important to brokerages, but are of very little consequences to retail traders” said Mr. Yohannan.

Ever forthright Mr. Yohannan’s tenure as CEO of AxiCorp has completed its second month, and under his leadership the company has turned a major corner this week having secured a multi-million dollar venture capital deal with RGT Capital which was first reported today by FinanceFeeds.

The company considers the new leadership to be considerably stronger, and indeed AxiCorp’s direction of imminent diversification and growth is likely to stand the company in good stead to become a giant among Australian peers.

Today, FinanceFeeds spoke to Mr. Yohannan in order to detail the company’s new steps toward strengthening and growing its stature having secured the venture capital investment.

This round of funding from RGT capital is the first significant venture capital investment in the firm since its establishment and expansion from Australia to the UK. What areas of growth will it finance?

Diversification – in products and markets is important for us and this would be an area of focus. Secondly, technology is rapidly changing everything in the financial services sector. To stay ahead and stay relevant we need to constantly invest in better and faster way of doing things.

The decision to take an investment from a venture capital partner came very shortly after your appointment as CEO having previously led OANDA’s APAC division with verve. How different is your avantgarde leadership style from previous AxiCorp leadership ?

Goran Drapac, the founder of AxiCorp built a great franchise. Think about this as the next phase in the growth of this company. Our endeavor is to be results focused and build scale while being nimble and innovative.

AxiCorp is one of the largest retail electronic trading firms in Australia. What areas of diversification are planned post-investment?

At the very core, we are an eCommerce company, offering financial services. If you look at some of the best eCommerce companies in the world, they are able to serve a wide variety of customers across the world.

We need to do that too. To do that, we need a scalable platform and more products and services that cater to the needs of investors and traders around the world.

Rival firms in Australia such as Pepperstone have been attempting to gain investment for some years. What stands AxiCorp out in the eyes of venture capital firms among its compatriots?

Focus on customers and an ambitious yet believable plan backed by a strong management team.

There has been considerable consolidation efforts among retail fx brokerages recently. Is the acquisition of other firms or specialist businesses a priority for AxiCorp ?

I would not call it a priority but an opportunity instead. Yes, inorganic opportunities are an area of interest for us.

How do you envisage AxiCorp’s growth plan over the next few years in terms of product variety, technological advancement and regional presence ?

Launching new products is easy, cross-selling them to your existing base, not so much. Building out new technology tools is question of resources, getting it to deliver it’s promised business value is much trickier.

As Uber’s recent experience in China shows, succeeding a new region is far more complex than getting into it. We will start small, learn our lessons and then grow fast and where we can’t scale we will hopefully fail quickly!

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