Our Origins: The Making of MATCHNow

April 1, 2023

MATCHNow was founded in 2008 as an Alternative Trading System (ATS), an anonymous trading platform intended to inject more competition into the Canadian equities markets. 

“We were really the first challenger to the only incumbent exchange in this space,” says Bryan Blake, Vice President, Canadian Equities. “MATCHNow was a disruptor, innovating the way things had always been done to provide a unique value proposition to the Canadian market.” 

MATCHNow’s key differentiators were price improvement, anonymity and liquidity. The platform also provided a meaningful way to save on trading executions through unique trading mechanisms. Despite its revolutionary approach, it took time for MATCHNow to make a name for itself. 

“As the new kid on the block, we had an uphill battle to get people subscribed and trading,” Bryan says. “We kept our nose to the grindstone and built a meaningful business over the course of almost 10 years.” 

When Cboe began searing for an entry point into Canada, MATCHNow proved to be the perfect addition to the team. 

“When the possibility of an acquisition came up, it was clear that Cboe and MATCHNow were well-aligned from both a business strategy and cultural perspective,” Bryan says. “There were several products and new ideas we wanted to advance in the Canadian marketplace, and Cboe already had many of them in the works in other regions. Cboe’s innovative spirit and solutions-focused mindset fit perfectly with how the MATCHNow team operated.” 

MATCHNow officially joined the Cboe network in August 2020 and the team did not waste any time building out a cohesive North American Equities business. MATCHNow team members quickly began collaborating with Cboe’s existing U.S. equities team to analyze the Canadian markets and provide in-depth insights for customers across the region. 

The team continued to innovate and provide new products that solve investors' biggest challenges, delivering new trading mechanisms and continuing to seek ways to enhance trading execution. In February 2022, Cboe completed the migration of MATCHNow to Cboe technology and launched Cboe BIDS Canada, building on MATCHNow’s Conditionals offering and bringing BIDS' leading block trading capabilities to Canadian investors. 

Later that year, Cboe completed the acquisition of NEO, creating a truly comprehensive Canadian equities offering with four trading books in the region, a robust market data offering and a vibrant and growing listings business. 

“It’s so exciting to leverage Cboe’s legacy of innovation as we expand our reliable products and services to new regions, including Canada,” Bryan says. “We’re building trusted markets that will connect equities traders around the world and make Canadian markets more competitive, all for the benefit of end investors.”