Does this business model sound familiar? An intermediary collects market assessments from banks, scrubs them of identifying information, and publishes an average. That average then serves as a benchmark for financial transactions worth millions, if not billions, of dollars.
With minor variations, that is how Libor, gold, foreign exchange, oil, and other key financial-market benchmarks work. And with depressing regularity, all of them have been—or are suspected to have been—manipulated in some way. Why, then, is Elly Hardwick so excited about the start-up she runs, based on a similar business model? And why did the venture capitalists at Index Ventures just sink $7 million into the company?