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Prerak Sanghvi, VP of Engineering at Clear Street: Fintech Exec Reveals the Streamlining Effect of API-first Development on Software Apps

API-first development is revolutionizing the software industry, with more and more companies recognizing its potential and making it a top priority for the future. According to a recent report by Insights Distilled, 43% of respondents named API-first development as a top priority for 2023. This approach, which focuses on building software around application programming interfaces (APIs), has numerous benefits including streamlining workflows, increasing processing speed, and enabling the integration of internal tools.

In the fintech and prime brokerage space, API-first development is particularly impactful. Companies that embrace APIs are happier, able to ship code faster, eliminate threats sooner, and build higher-quality software, according to a survey by Postma. APIs are increasingly being used to connect internal tools, replacing traditional methods such as file transfers, database sharing, and email. This modernization of the industry allows for more efficient and effective data sharing and integration.

Prerak Sanghvi, Vice President of Engineering at Clear Street, believes that API-first development is the future of software and is having a significant impact on the industry. Clear Street, an independent, non-bank prime broker, is at the forefront of this evolution. The company is building a completely cloud-native clearing and custody system that aims to create a single source-of-truth platform for every asset class, in every country, and in any currency. Sanghvi, who joined Clear Street in June 2022, has extensive experience in the industry and is confident in the potential of API-first development.

API-first development is seen as the future of software because it provides a more efficient and effective way of building and integrating software systems. While many sectors have adopted APIs, the capital markets industry is still heavily reliant on outdated technology. This has led to fragmented systems and interfaces that are unable to keep up with the changing needs of investors and regulators. Clear Street, on the other hand, is building its financial infrastructure on a modern technology stack where APIs are a native part of the ecosystem. This allows for seamless communication between components and eliminates the need for time-consuming reconciliations.

Having an API-first approach is essential for companies in today’s technological landscape. At Clear Street, it means building a unified prime brokerage platform using cloud-native, event-driven, and horizontally scalable technology. This approach allows for a connected platform with a single source of truth for every piece of information. Upgrading or replacing parts of the system does not affect the overall platform, making it more efficient and flexible. Clear Street aims to be a leader in the prime brokerage space and believes that its API-first approach will give it a competitive edge.

In five years’ time, Clear Street envisions itself as a prime broker with a fully integrated platform that supports multiple asset classes on a global scale. The company’s API-first platform will enable users to engage with their prime broker programmatically, integrating feedback and valuable information into their existing workflows and systems. Clear Street’s ultimate goal is to provide clients with everything they need to clear, custody, execute, and finance securities across different asset classes efficiently and cost-effectively.

API-first development is undoubtedly reshaping the software industry, and companies that embrace this approach are reaping the benefits. From streamlining workflows to improving data integration, APIs have become an indispensable tool in the modernization of the industry. Clear Street’s success and vision for the future demonstrate the power and potential of API-first development in the fintech and prime brokerage space.

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