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Allen & Overy makes equity investment in fintech company nivaura

Allen & Overy has made an equity investment in Nivaura, a fintech company developing a cloud-based service for the issue and administration of financial instruments by small and medium-sized issuers. London-based debt capital markets partner Phil Smith has also joined the Nivaura board as a non-executive director. 

Nivaura was the first company invited to work in Fuse – a new tech innovation space based in Allen & Overy’s London offices. As entrepreneurs-in-residence, Nivaura team members are helping to guide the other tech companies working in the space by sharing advice and business experiences while continuing to develop their own business.

Nivaura’s tech solution will make it affordable for SMEs to access funding through the capital markets. In doing so, it has the potential to create a new asset class and offer investment banks a new line of business.

“It very quickly became evident that what the Nivaura team is working on could be hugely important”, said Phil Smith, who leads the relationship with Nivaura. “Undoubtedly cost has been a prohibiting factor for SMEs considering raising funds in this way. Nivaura’s product would reduce that cost significantly, opening up a whole new funding landscape to businesses that have had to rely on other forms of finance to date.”

Allen & Overy has assisted Nivaura commercially in a variety of ways, including providing support in developing bond document templates for use in the recent test of the Nivaura platform in the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox environment. Nivaura has successfully completed two fully automated issuances of bonds on its platform within the FCA sandbox as participants in both Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 of the programme, the only company to be involved in both cohorts.

Dr. Avtar Sehra, CEO and Chief Product Architect at Nivaura, commented: “Working with Allen & Overy has really enhanced our understanding of the legal complexities involved in capital markets transactions. We’re enjoying being in Fuse, collaborating both with A&O people and the other tech businesses, and we’re really pleased that we now have Phil on board as a non-executive director. His guidance will be invaluable.”

Fuse is targeting legaltech (helping in-house lawyers and law firms to operate and deliver their services in smarter, more efficient ways), regtech (supporting businesses in complying with law and regulation) and dealtech (developing new ways for businesses to negotiate and transact with each other).  It is an integral part of Allen & Overy’s advanced delivery capability and complements the legal practice’s profile in the fintech arena.

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