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Technology Crossover invests $60m in electronic trading co

The Palo Alto technology private equity firm has invested in Automated Trading Desk, an automated electronic retail trading technology company.

Technology Crossover Ventures has announced a $60 million (€46 million) investment in Automated Trading Desk, a Mount Pleasant, South Carolina-based automated retail trading technology company.

The investment will help ATD, which focuses providing automated trading and trade execution services for equities, move into options and institutional execution businesses.

“We are excited by this strategic partnership as the market continues to offer significant opportunities for innovative, technology-driven financial services companies,” said Robert Trudeau, general partner of TCV, in a statement.

ATD is TCV’s second investment in electronic trading: its first was a $250 million investment made together with Summit Partners in Liquidnet Holdings in February 2005. Liquidnet specialises in block trading.

Started in 1988, ATD claims that its proprietary “pricing engine” technology enables it to better analyse the equity market, manage risk and capitalise on margins. The company says its software averaged over 280 million shares a day, comprising about seven percent each of NYSE and NASDAQ daily trading volume in November 2006.

Trudeau joins the board of directors at ATD and two new independent directors will be named.

TCV, which touts its “crossover” approach to investing which includes investments in early and late stage companies, as well as private investment in public enterprises (PIPE), closed its latest fund, the $1.4 billion TCV VI, in November 2005. It reports $4.7 billion under management and investments in over 150 companies.