Click, click, you’re dead
Despite having the backing of six of Europe’s leading investment banks, BondClick has bitten the dust. Though its mission to create an electronic platform for trading European government bonds seemed straightforward enough, just three months after it launched its trading operation it was already in big trouble. The whole episode is an embarrassment for the banks that backed the new venture.
The story has all the ingredients of a classic internet farce: boom-crazy investors, board members with no experience of running a business, millions of euros spent on barely used technology, a CEO who disappeared in controversial circumstances, angry staff left without work, bungled deals, botched business plans, and egg on face all round. It sounds like a familiar enough story to anyone following the hi-tech boom, except that this time it involves a company set up by six of Europe's leading investment banks, and run by some of the most senior and highest-paid bankers in European financial markets.
BondClick's mission was simple - to create an electronic platform for trading European government bonds that enabled investors to see several banks' prices at the same time. It had a successful model to follow from the US market in the form of TradeWeb, which was also gearing up to be its major competitor.