EMBonds, a UK-based online marketplace for trading emerging market bonds, has raised $6.8m from a consortium including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.

The IFC was joined in investing in the round by Germany-based venture capital firm Earlybird Venture Capital, which invested through its Digital East fund.

Mehmet Artun, chief executive of EMBonds, said: “[The] International Finance Corporation’s involvement plays a catalytic role for other investors in EMBonds and for the acceptance of the trading system by potential clients, which will allow us to establish a strong base and further expand our business in emerging markets.”

Currently EMBonds system covers Turkey, Hungary, South Africa and Poland. The investment will be used by EMBonds to help in its expansion across Europe.

Atul Mehta, director of telecoms, media and technology, venture capital and funds department at IFC, said: “Developing local capital markets is a strategic priority for International Finance Corporation, as we realise that deep, efficient local capital markets are the foundation of a thriving private sector, the key driver of jobs and growth. We support pioneering companies like EMBonds, who contribute to this goal by developing and implementing innovative technology.”

Over the past 20 years,IFC has provided more than $6.5bn in financing to more than 115 telecom and IT projects in developing countries.