Smart Securities Startup Symbiont Gets Capital from Atlantic Merchant, Celeridium

New York City-based fintech startup Symbiont has received investment from Atlantic Merchant Capital Investors, LLC and Celeridem Capital Management, LLC.

The company develops blockchain technology to automate decentralized peer-to-peer trading of smart securities.

Symbiont was established earlier this year by entrepreneur Mark Smith and three founders of the Counterparty protocol, Robby Dermody, Adam Krellenstein, and Evan Wagner. Smith was a founder of trading firm LavaFX, which sold to Citigroup in 2004.

In June, Symbiont received $1.25 million in funds from investors including Duncan Niederauer, former CEO at the New York Stock Exchange, and Matt Andresen, former co-CEO of Citadel Derivatives Group.

The startup’s board now includes: Smith as CEO; Dermody as President; Niederauer; Neil DeSena, founder of Sena Hill Partners and former Managing Director, Global Head of REDI Products at Goldman Sachs; and Shiv Govindan, Managing Member of Celeridem.

Allan Martin, CEO of Atlantic Merchant, commented on the investment:

We are very excited to have the opportunity to back Mark Smith and his executive team in this exciting financial technology venture. We think the company’s technology suite and IP will provide the industry with valuable solutions across a wide spectrum of assets. Mark has assembled a world-class team and board to help him execute his plan. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this company at such an early stage.

Smith added:

The team at Symbiont is enthusiastic about our new capital partnership with Celeridem and Atlantic. The capital they and other investors have provided will allow us to deliver production technology and clear the way to a Series A round later this year. We are also excited about the opportunity to work with Shiv Govindan and Jeff Hunt. They bring more than capital to the table.

There is no mention of Counterparty in the funding announcement. This is not surprising as the Counterparty protocol is tied to the Bitcoin Blockchain. Symbiont intends to develop private custom blockchains for customers in the banking and securities industries, who have have private and trusted networks of participants and thus no need for a bitcoin token. Indeed, the company plans to issue its own securities associated with the funding through such a proprietary blockchain.

Atlantic Merchant is a Tampa-based private equity firm with investments in middle-market companies, with a primary focus in banking and insurance services. Celeridem is a private investment partnership founded by Jeff Hunt and Govindan to invest in fintech companies throughout the US.