Meet Saphyre, the Fintech Disrupting Institutional Finance

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 1, 2023

Financial automation software developed by the fintech Saphyre is disrupting institutional finance.

With institutional finance considered by many to be one of the “last frontiers” for digital transformation, the cracks are finally appearing in the legacy systems and disparate processes (think faxes, emails and spreadsheets) that regularly cause headaches and cost overruns for the world’s largest banks and asset managers.

The financial automation platform Saphyre has emerged as the dominant leader over the past two years with giants such as Blackrock, Northern Trust and BNY Mellon adopting the software to manage trade and account onboarding. Saphyre used patented interoperable AI technology to transform how institutions handle pre- and post-trade processes in financial markets.

The trajectory of Saphyre turned into a rocket ship after JP Morgan led an investment of more than $18 million into the company and adopted the platform in its own operations. Founded by identical twin entrepreneurs Stephen and Gabino Roche, we caught up with Gabino for insight into the company’s growth story and the lessons learned as founders.

Where did the idea for Saphyre initially come from?

Gabino Roche: The idea initially began in late 2015 when JP Morgan asked me to assist in a struggling consortium they were involved in. It was there, I discovered the fundamental structure, a “Rosetta Stone” of sorts for data management and memory, for the idea and philosophy of what was eventually going to be Saphyre.  Up until that point, I had worked extensively at the intersection of technology and finance. I was a firm member at McKinsey, where I learned how to deliver software products faster to market. I then joined NYSE as a Managing Director of Application Development. In 2011, I later became a VP at JP Morgan and co-led a $40 million initiative to reorganize technology processes related to institutional client services.

It was there that I saw the major challenges that financial firms face when it comes to standardizing data and processes such as KYC AML (“know your customer” and “anti-money laundering”) between multiple banks. These were all top tier firms, and yet they, amongst themselves, couldn’t agree on an approach. There were enormous inefficiencies due to the fact that practically all banks and asset managers used manual processes to collect data in pre-trade without harnessing the right technology.

At the time, my identical twin brother and future co-founder, Stephen, was leading major partnerships and strategic deals here in NYC for a division of AT&T. We had both been entrepreneurial our whole lives and even had a few prior startups that didn’t make it. We recognized the scope of the need in the marketplace for a technology solution that could solve these big problems that financial firms faced and the massive costs that their current processes incurred. That’s when we decided we needed to build the Saphyre technology.

How did you initially start the company? How long did you bootstrap for?

GR: We’re both scrappy founders and continued to bootstrap the platform until we raised our seed round, which was $18M led by JP Morgan, in early 2022.

What was the most unexpected obstacle in the early days of building or selling the product?

GR: It’s no secret that the financial industry is not exactly at the forefront of cutting edge technology. In fact, in a lot of ways, it is almost a last frontier. That’s part of what makes the Saphyre solution so exciting, but it also has inherent challenges. Financial institutions are often slow to adopt new technology. That’s partly due to the enormous regulatory scrutiny that firms have to comply with, the acquisitions they’ve made over the years of other firms with their legacy and outdated systems, and internal, homegrown, technology solutions. This makes them very reluctant to change the way they have been doing something, in many cases, for decades.

So there is a lot of confidence that needs to be instilled in your solution in order to gain the trust of the world’s biggest banks. The reason Saphyre has become so successful is because we put the time and work into building something that truly transforms the results that firms are getting and we demonstrated a track record of those results at some of the biggest banks and asset managers around the globe.

How did you approach building a culture to attract talent to Saphyre?

GR: At Saphyre, we approached building a culture to attract talent by first identifying the core values that were important to us as a company. These values included a strong focus on innovation, collaboration, and an urgent passion for our mission to change the financial industry for the better. We then made sure to incorporate these values into all aspects of the company, from the way we communicate with each other and our clients to the way we structure our teams and projects. We also made a point to foster a positive and inclusive work environment, where all employees feel valued and have the opportunity to grow and develop their skills. We also provide flexible working arrangements to appeal to top talent. Overall, by building a strong and appealing culture, we’re able to attract and retain top talent who share our passion and drive to succeed.

What leadership lessons have you learned along the way?

GR: Stephen and I have learned many valuable leadership lessons as Saphyre has grown and evolved. Some of these include:

  1. The importance of clear communication: Communication, both within teams and across the organization, helps ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.
  2. The need for adaptability: In a fast-paced startup environment, plans change frequently. Being able to adapt and pivot as necessary is critical for success.
  3. The power of a positive culture: A positive and inclusive culture helps attract and retain top talent, increase employee engagement and productivity, and foster a sense of community.
  4. The role of innovation: The Fintech industry is rapidly changing and in order to stay ahead of the curve, we have to continuously innovate and stay current with industry trends.
  5. The importance of transparency: Building trust with employees and customers is essential for the success of any business. Transparency in decision making and our operations helps in building trust and fostering a positive work culture.
  6. Empowering employees: Giving employees autonomy and trust in their abilities builds greater job satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.

What does 2023 hold for Saphyre?

GR: In one word? Growth! We have a big deal to be announced in the first half of 2023 that will further disrupt the financial industry. We also anticipate more financial firms coming onto the platform as we continue to gain traction and establish ourselves as a leader in the fintech industry. Strategic alliances with other companies or organizations in the fintech, financial services, or technology space could also be a possibility, as these partnerships help Saphyre tap into new markets and expand our reach.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily Group, encompassing Financial Tech Times, Smartech Daily, Transit Tomorrow, BlockTelegraph, Meditech Today, High Net Worth magazine, Luxury Miami magazine, CEO Official magazine, Luxury LA magazine, and flagship outlet, Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he was on the editorial staff at and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 50+ early stage startups with 10+ exits through 2023.

Read more

More GD News