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From left to right- Poh Teck Tan EVP GTR Ventures, John Khaw CEO Lucidity Digital Pte Ltd, Rupert Sayer CEO GTR Ventures, Sopnendu Mohanty Chief Fintech Officer Monetary Authority of Singapore, Fazley Azhar Director iLoan Sri Lanka, Ningwa Lau Co-Founder iLoan Sri Lanka, Kelvin Tan CIO GTR Ventures
GTR Ventures Announces Three New Deals During Singapore Fintech Festival
Deepening Financial Inclusion Across Emerging Asia Through Fintech Partnerships
London/Singapore – November 12 2018: GTR Ventures, the world’s first investment and venture-building platform specialised in trade and supply chain, has announced three new deals with Lucidity, iLoan and RM-Tech. These three investments, representing an expanded pivot towards markets in China and South Asia, were announced on the first day of the Singapore Fintech Festival, the world’s largest fintech gathering.
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), says: “Asia is going through a phenomenal digital transformation on the back of innovation led by fintech entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and the rise of digital trade and e-commerce platforms. I welcome GTR Ventures’ recent investee companies to our ecosystem, and look forward to greater financial inclusion for SMEs in this region.”
Lucidity is a trade finance documentation solutions provider that employs automation and machine learning to improve efficiencies in manual paperwork such as letters of credit, allowing exporters to get paid faster and improve their productivity. Lucidity also enables automation in trade finance compliance checks for banks, helping them to reduce operational costs as well as lower their risks against the global backdrop of increasing compliance oversight. Lucidity is backed by PSA unboXed, the corporate venture capital arm of Singapore’s global port operator PSA International.
Commenting on the deal, Elton Fong, Vice-President of PSA unboXed, elaborates: “We are pleased to have invested in Lucidity. Leveraging our access to the global trade community, we look forward to working with all stakeholders, including banks, to increase the digitisation of trade.”
iLoan provides blockchain solutions for loans to SMEs, wholesalers and distributors. Its technology allows lenders to reduce invoice fraud, lower processing costs and have efficient traceability of each transaction. iLoan is a part of John Keells X, which is a startup accelerator designed to support early stage startups, initiated by John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s largest business conglomerate.
According to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study, emerging Asia constitutes 40% of the global US$1.5tn trade finance gap. Meanwhile, a World Bank study on SME finance attributes the working capital gap at US$2.6tn. Adding to these finance gaps are the legal complexities, FX risk, and overall costs of cross-border payments that make it difficult for SMEs in emerging Asia to quickly and cost-effectively make payments globally.
RM-Tech is a fintech solution provider to banks, corporates, and business-to-business (B2B) portals. Its product suite allows for multi-channel payments and unparalleled connectivity to banks for clearing and settlement services. Connected to seven banks in China, it has over 300 Chinese customers and processes over RMB100mn of transactions each month. RM-Tech is working with GTR Ventures to offer cost-efficient cross-border B2B payment services from its existing network of banks and Chinese exporters.
Kelvin Tan, CIO of GTR Ventures, says: “These latest additions to our investment portfolio correspond with our vision to create a compelling network effect of digital fintech solutions in the world of trade and supply chain that can comprehensively cater to banks, non-banks and SMEs. Be it geographical reach, loan products, operational efficiency, settlements or asset distribution, we are on track to tackling different parts of the transactional value chain with a view to deepening financial inclusion for exporters and SMEs globally.”
PSA unboXed is the corporate innovation and venture capital arm of PSA International. PSA unboXed seeks to harness technology and innovation from startups with a focus on ports, maritime, logistics and containerised cargo flow. PSA International is a leading global port group handling about 64mn containers (TEUs) out of 700mn globally, with port projects spanning across Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Lucidity provides automation and digitalisation solutions for supply-side documentation, ranging from transaction origination to electronic bill of lading (BL) solutions for exporters and traders. Going beyond digitised documents, the company employs machine learning to solve one of the most important challenges surrounding trade documentation ‑ its deep reliance on human experience and comprehension. Lucidity allows financial institutions to compete and stay ahead of their competitors in today’s increasingly cost-conscious macro-environment.
John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) is Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate in the Colombo Stock Exchange. From managing hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to providing port, marine fuel and logistics services to IT solutions, manufacturing of food and beverages to running a chain of supermarkets, tea broking to stock broking, life insurance and banking to real estate, JKH has made its presence felt in virtually every major sphere of the economy. JKH is a full member of the World Economic Forum and having issued Global Depository Receipts on the Luxemburg Stock Exchange, was the first Sri Lankan company to be listed overseas. With a rich history of over 150 years, since modest beginnings as a produce and exchange broker in the early 1870s, JKH has been known to constantly re-invent, re-align and reposition ourselves in exploring new avenues of growth.
About iLoan (Contact: email@example.com; website: www.iloan.ik)
Founded in 2017, iloan is an emerging fintech company that provides access to working capital for micro and SMEs in South Asian frontier markets. It has developed a proprietary loan aggregation engine and invoice verification protocol using distributed ledger technology to enhance transparency on underlying loan assets for financial institutions.
RM-Tech is a fintech company based in Guangzhou, China. Connected to seven banks in China, it provides enterprises and B2B portals with a payment, accounts and settlement platform, as well as enabling low-cost financing. RM-Tech has processed over RMB1bn of transactions to date and processes over RMB100mn-worth each month.
On June 11, approximately 150 delegates representing over 100 countries gathered at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong for the GTR Asia Tradetech Forum. The conference brought together an array of trade and industry experts all featuring the latest technological developments for trade and supply chain.
The conference featured a discussion on the latest around the Global Trade Connectivity Network. The Global Trade Connectivity Network is the first joint venture innovation project arising from the agreement signed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The panel was moderated by David Koh, Regional Head of Transaction Banking for Greater China and North Asia for Standard Chartered Bank, and featured Nelson Chow, Chief Fintech Officer for Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Serene Ho, Director of the National Trade Platform Office for Singapore Customs.
To close out the conference, a #tradetech technology showcase panel was led by the following experts:
The showcase featured four different presentations led by fintech startups.
The Wild Digital Venture Tech Conference, hosted on July 4-5 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, featured presentations from 70 speakers with over 1200 delegates from an array of industries. The conference centred on the theme Inspire Connect Disrupt and brought together top internet players, entrepreneurs, investors, executives and founders. Day one of the conference featured a presentation on venture capital funding by GTR Ventures’s CIO Kelvin Tan, and it was truly an honour to be selected to appear at this prestigious event.
London/Singapore Mar 12, 2018: GTR Ventures, the world’s first investment and venture-building platform specialized in trade and supply chain, has announced its debut deals with five trade FinTech companies – Tradeteq, Trade Finance Market, Culum Capital, eFundSME and Incomlend. These deals are the first in a strong pipeline of transactions. GTR Ventures has taken equity positions in the five companies, collectively valuing them at around US$50 million.
The companies – four digital trade lenders and a platform for institutional investors to access global trade instruments – have facilitated over US$160 million of trade loan deals since their inception. Launched in September 2017, GTR Ventures will work with the companies and build their businesses including through global expansion, development of new products such as trade finance indices, and connection to a global marketplace for digital trade finance assets.
“We are excited to partner with GTR Ventures as Tradeteq continues to grow,” said Christoph Gugelmann, CEO of UK-headquartered Tradeteq. “This partnership will help us expand our reach to all players within the trade ecosystem and consolidate our European bases while expanding to markets in Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.”
Kelvin Tan, CIO of GTR Ventures said, “The global trade sector is transforming with digitization and data-driven infrastructure connecting diverse players across the physical and financial aspects of trade. The founders behind Tradeteq, Trade Finance Market, Culum Capital, eFundSME and Incomlend, are driving that change by using technology and data analytics to mitigate risks, make lending more efficient and close the trade finance gap. Our vision is to work with these companies and build strategic first-mover stakes in the future of trade.”
Rupert Sayer, CEO of GTR Ventures, said, “The rapidly changing landscape of trade presents exciting opportunities for investors. As our debut deals show, GTR Ventures is uniquely positioned to identify exceptional investments and, through partnerships and alliances, build a global network that will shape the future of both trade and trade finance.”
GTR Ventures is working on a strong pipeline of additional investments and expects to close five more deals and global partnerships in the next quarter.
Trade finance, which supports annual global trade of US$16 trillion, is an emerging niche investment area. However, some 30% of global trade, or US$5 trillion, is under-financed. This trade finance gap presents a growing opportunity for debt and equity investors. While returns from trade have traditionally come from providers of debt capital, the emergence of tradetechs presents a new opportunity for private equity and other investors looking to diversify.
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Based out of London, Singapore, and Hong Kong, GTR Ventures is the world’s first investment platform dedicated to trade and supply chain. In exclusive partnership with Global Trade Review (GTR), the world’s leader in global trade and trade finance intelligence, publishing, news and events, GTR Ventures mobilizes private capital for trade and trade finance, investing in and supporting the development of trade-focused fintech companies (tradetechs) while working with multiple stakeholders to integrate technology into trade. GTR Ventures focuses on four main investment areas: transaction banking (trade finance, treasury, & cash), trade insurance & risk management, SME finance & supply chain and physical trade.
Culum Capital is a Singapore-headquartered fintech which provides companies with working capital funding using trade finance solutions particularly in receivables purchase and supply chain finance. It is also an investment platform for investors seeking alternative investment opportunities. The company has a proprietary risk assessment and management system to ensure the quality of deals flowing through its platform.
About eFundSME (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , website: www.efundsme.com)
eFundSME Global Pte Ltd is an e-marketplace for invoice trading, founded, owned and managed by industry veterans from Singapore. Its key management team comprises professionals from the banking industry with aggregate experience exceeding 100 years. The company leverages the power of online technology to transform trade finance for the mutual benefit of SME sellers and investor buyers.
Operating in Hong Kong and Singapore, Incomlend is a global invoice exchange where companies from different countries can fund their export receivables by selling them to private investors at a discount. The platform trades in multiple currencies (USD, EUR, SGD, and HKD) and offers an integrated digital receivables discounting solution to both suppliers and buyers across its global supply chain, dynamic discounting and factoring products. Investors’ capital is protected against debtors’ credit risk by world leading credit insurers.
UK-headquartered Tradeteq provides the collaborative network for trade finance investors and originators, to connect, interact, and transact. Tradeteq delivers AI-powered credit analytics, reporting, investment and operational solutions. Tradeteq transforms trade finance assets into transparent and scalable investments.
About Trade Finance Market (contact: email@example.com, website: www.tradefinancemarket.com)
Singapore-based Trade Finance Market (TFM) is a fintech leader in providing alternative trade finance solutions for small and medium enterprises. TFM also develops blockchain-based tools to derisk and lower the cost of trade finance transactions – including InvoiceCheck, a tool designed to reduce invoice finance fraud.
Our debut deals will be announced at 4 PM GMT +8 on the 12th of March 2018.
Watch this space!
Singapore, September 5th, 2017 – The world’s leading trade finance-focused media and events firm Global Trade Review (GTR) has launched its investment arm, GTR Ventures (GTRV), during its annual GTR Asia Trade & Treasury Week in Singapore ─ the world’s largest gathering of global trade finance decision makers.
GTR Ventures is the world’s first investment firm solely supporting and innovating alongside banks, insurers, corporates, and tradetechs specifically for trade and trade finance. The firm’s mandate includes mobilising greater private capital into trade and small-and-medium enterprise (SME) lending, particularly in emerging markets.
GTRV will offer multiple stakeholders ranging from tradetech entrepreneurs, investors, private companies, banks and governments the unique opportunity to collaboratively test and benefit from integrating cutting-edge financial technology into trade activities. GTRV will not only stimulate public interest in an evolving asset class, it will also serve as a platform to bring together the required expertise to channel more private capital into trade finance.
GTRV will focus on four main investment areas:
Once validated by GTRV’s committees comprising domain specific specialists, tradetechs in these four main investment areas coming through the GTRV platform will have unrivalled access to the markets and target clients that they are looking to connect with and expand. They will engage with the world’s most powerful trade finance community and with accredited investors looking for access to promising and solid trade-related assets. Tradetechs benefit from increased profiling, marketing, advice and support, through GTR’s proven and trusted networks.
GTRV will be managed by Rupert Sayer (co-founder and chief executive officer), Kelvin Tan (co-founder and chief investment officer), both in Singapore, and Peter Gubbins (co-founder and executive director) in London. In addition, GTRV will enjoy the guidance of a close advisory board comprising highly prominent global trade, insurance and investment leaders who know and understand trade and trade finance. GTRV will also be supported by a technology panel and a series of investment committees pertaining to each identified trade finance sub-sector.
Tan was until recently deputy director, trade finance & capital markets development at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and before that senior investment officer at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). He also was deputy director, emerging markets at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Sayer has an editorial and political research background, having been an editor at Euromoney Institutional Investor and Ark Publishing before co-founding GTR. Gubbins headed sales and marketing at various Euromoney and Ark titles.
Rupert Sayer, co-founder and chief executive officer of GTR Ventures says: “We spent 15 years building the GTR media brand into a trusted source of knowledge, networks and trends for the global trade community. There is arguably no trade banker out there who has not read GTR or who has not attended our many conferences, be it in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, London, Mumbai, Jakarta, Cape Town, Mexico, or Chicago. Our vision for GTRV is to leverage this powerful community and accelerate innovation in the global trade and trade finance sectors. Starting out from our bases in London and Singapore, both fintech capitals of the world, GTRV will be a pivot point in the world of investments into trade.”
Kelvin Tan, co-founder and chief investment officer of GTR Ventures, says: “Global trade is an annual, evergreen US$16 trillion sector. Regardless of economic cycles, global trade is here to stay. Yet its merits as an alternative investible asset class is not so widely known. With the huge global GTR community, we are here to change this, and champion trade finance as an asset class. Our initiatives to champion trade finance will enable both private and institutional investors to diversify their portfolios into a stable financial product with relatively low default rates. While the returns from trade have traditionally come from providers of debt capital, the emergence of fintechs for trade – tradetechs – should equally begin attracting private equity into this sector.”
Peter Gubbins, co-founder and executive director of GTR Ventures, says: “GTRV can nurture and accelerate entrepreneurial tradetechs which require considerable capital or experienced mentorship to bring exciting innovations to fruition in the market. With our bases in Singapore and London, two leading financial centres, GTRV will make a significant impact on the global trade ecosystem.”
Global Trade Review (GTR), established in 2002 by Rupert Sayer and Peter Gubbins, is the world’s leading news source, publisher and event organiser for the global trade, commodity, export and supply chain finance industries. With offices in Singapore, London and Hong Kong, GTR provides benchmark coverage and in-depth information into the latest developments in emerging markets trade finance. GTR events are the trade finance industry’s biggest and most respected around the world, with the leading industry players, governments, multilaterals and NGOs as supporters and sponsors. Events number over 20 in six continents. GTR is part of Exporta Publishing & Events.