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From Global Trade Review (GTR) | By Eleanor WraggEight years after the official start of negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – a free trade agreement covering almost a third of the world’s population and 30% of global GDP – is now a reality. The deal, concluded between China, the 10 Asean member states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, is almost unrivalled in its complexity. Its 20 chapters plus 17 annexes and 54 schedules of commitments manage to cover market access, rules and disciplines, and economic and technical cooperation between what are 15 very different trading nations. The agreement pulls together a pan-Asian basic standard for trade that goes beyond the terms provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO), supporting regional integration and engaging emerging markets and developed economies. Although the RCEP was an Asean initiative, it is regarded by many as a China-backed alternative to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a deal that excluded China but included many Asian countries. For the first time, RCEP brings together China, Japan and South Korea in one trade agreement, roundly cementing the primacy of the Asia-Pacific region in global trade. However, not all is rosy in the RCEP area, as Australia and China are currently embroiled in a trade dispute that has rolled on since China imposed an 80% tariff on barley imports from Australia and an outright ban on beef imports from four major producers, citing compliance issues. Nonetheless, for many onlookers, the general mood seems to be one of optimism about the deal’s potential to bring the region together. “RCEP may prove to be the tonic Asia needs to recover from the pandemic-induced slump,” says Stuart Tait, regional head of commercial banking for Asia-Pacific (Apac) at HSBC. “Although international trade continues to face uncertainty, the signing of RCEP underscores the belief that market openness will lead to greater economic growth for more. Intra-Asian trade, which is already larger than Asia’s trade with North America and Europe combined, will continue to power global economic growth and pull the economic centre of gravity towards Asia.” Common rules of origin Because many of the RCEP signatories already have bilateral trade pacts with each other, there’s little in the way of immediate tariff reduction in the pact’s 510-page document. Indeed, the average tariff of Asean countries on imports from RCEP partners had already dropped from 4.9% in 2005 to 1.8% currently. However, the agreement now delivers a single set of rules covering all 15 markets, making trade simpler and reducing compliance costs for exporters. The biggest win in the deal is the creation of a common rule of origin certificate, which harmonises the information requirements and local content standards for businesses in the RCEP member countries. Effectively, this means that parts from any member nation would be treated equally, which Euler Hermes calculates will boost merchandise exports among signatories by around US$90bn a year on average, giving companies an incentive to locate their supply chains within the trade region – likely leading to a further boost for intra-regional trade, which already makes up close to three-fifths of total trade activity in the Apac region. Another deal without the US The signing of RCEP marks the second mammoth Apac trade deal that excludes the US, after President Donald Trump pulled the country out of the CPTPP in 2017. With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting that the region will regain an average growth rate of over 5% by 2021, US exporters need access to its lucrative markets if they are to share in post-pandemic economic growth. In a statement, Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the US Chamber, said: “The US Chamber welcomes the trade-liberalising benefits of the newly signed regional comprehensive partnership agreement but is concerned that the United States is being left behind as economic integration accelerates across the vital Asia-Pacific region. China has become the most important trading partner for most of the Asia-Pacific, and its central role in the RCEP will only cement this position. While the Trump Administration has moved to confront unfair trade practices by China, it has secured only limited new opportunities for US exporters in other parts of Asia.” He calls for the US to adopt a more “forward-looking, strategic effort” to maintain its economic presence in the region, or risk “being on the outside looking in as one of the world’s primary engines of growth hums along without us”. President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for the region are yet to be seen, but hopes are high among US exporters that, at the very least, the incoming administration may consider a return to the CPTPP fold. Door still open for India Trans-Pacific issues aside, the next step for RCEP will be working through the barriers to India’s accession. The country withdrew from negotiations last year due to mismatches between its protectionist-leaning trade policies and the market access commitments required by the deal. However, during the signing of the deal, RCEP signatories were keen to leave the door open for the South Asian nation. “We would highly value India’s role in RCEP and reiterate that the RCEP remains open to India,” they said in a joint statement. “As one of the 16 original participating countries, India’s accession to the RCEP agreement would be welcome in view of its participation in RCEP negotiations since 2012 and its strategic importance as a regional partner in creating deeper and expanded regional value chains.” The post RCEP: a shot in the arm for Asia’s supply chains, a blow to the US appeared first on Global Trade Review (GTR).
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Singapore, 4 June 2020 – Global Emerging Supply Chain Technologies (GESCT), a Singapore-driven global initiative which drives new business models and transformations in the supply chain and logistics industry, today announced it has rebranded to Next Supply Chain (NEXST). NEXST was formed as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kuehne + Nagel, a global transport and logistics company, Reefknot Investments, a Temasek-backed Venture Capital firm, and SGInnovate, a private organisation backed by the Singapore government with a focus on driving deep tech innovation. The three companies were joined in individual capacities by Wolfgang Lehmacher, Former Director and Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries, World Economic Forum, and Kong Wai Wei, Global Supply Chain Director, Starbucks Corporation.
NEXST holds a global ambition and strategy around identifying and helping to drive new business models and transformational technology in the logistics and supply chain industry. Since NEXST’s launch in September 2019, and especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. It has seen significant momentum as an industry platform, including the launch of a whitepaper around supply chain digital transformation post-pandemic, as well as welcoming publisher and event organiser Global Trade Review (GTR) as its latest member.
“The global logistics and supply chain space is transforming at an accelerated pace, particularly during this pandemic. While there is this need for quick and decisive change, latest industry and technology knowledge and business model innovation continues to remain fragmented,” said Marc Dragon, Managing Director of Reefknot Investments.
“NEXST’s rebrand from GESCT is reflective of its ambition as a closed-door ‘think tank’, where top minds in the logistics, supply chain, and technology industry could explore needed business models and technologies to create the Next Generation Supply Chain. Around this, it is an absolute pleasure to also welcome Global Trade Review, a key source of Global Trade information, as well as having a great ecosystem of Trade Finance partners to help to contribute to and amplify NEXST’s member insights to help take innovation to a wider public,” added Marc.
“GTR is pleased to join the NEXST consortium, and mobilise our global platform for the benefit of paradigm shifts in trade. The post-pandemic future of supply chain will see an acceleration in the adoption of digital innovation in trade, or ‘tradetech’ as we call it. With NEXST members and our ecosystem of trade finance lenders, insurers, corporate treasurers, and tradetechs, we shall contribute towards the co-creation of new products for the industry,” said Kelvin Tan, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of GTR Ventures, GTR’s venture building arm.
“While the ongoing pandemic has resurfaced existing inefficiencies and created new challenges in the supply chain and logistics sector, it has also unlocked opportunities for entrepreneurs and the wider industry to address them through innovation. At SGInnovate, we have been working closely with leaders in the supply chain and logistics sector, and Deep Tech startups to resolve existing pain points collectively,” said Heng Soon Pang, Head of Venture Building, SGInnovate.
“Our participation in NEXST helps us to bring more value in applying technology to transform supply chain management. We will like to encourage more industry players and entrepreneurial scientists to partner with us and create positive change for the sector,” added Mr. Pang.
NEXST’s first quarterly whitepaper titled “Supply Chain Digital Transformation: Enhancement of Supply Chain Visibility For the Post-COVID-19 World” is available online through SGInnovate’s as well as Reefknot Investments’ websites. The whitepaper, a collaborative effort between NEXST, Reefknot Investments and SGInnovate, provides insights on what supply chain visibility means today, emerging issues and challenges and case studies on how cutting-edge technology, including IoT and AI could propel firms towards Supply Chain 4.0.
In the coming months, NEXST will look to publish more industry white papers to help governments, corporations and the larger industry stay ahead of the transformation, creating the supply chain ecosystem for tomorrow. It also looks to add to its growing list of industry leaders and members, to deliver on its ambition of building the first truly global industry think tank. Some of its activities include monthly closed-door expert panels, quarterly forums, and active curation of supply chain business models and technology trends.
– END –
The Next Supply Chain (NEXST) is a think-tank initiative aimed at driving new business models and transformational technology in the Supply Chain and Logistics industry. NEXST aims to positively create value and impact for the Supply Chain and Logistics industry, to partner with and support high growth technology businesses seeking to transform the Supply Chain and Logistics industry, and to become a global centre of gravity for all technology startups in the Supply Chain and Logistics industry.
About Reefknot Investments
We invest in high growth technology companies pushing new frontiers within the supply chain and logistics space. Beyond the pure financial investment, we further leverage our ecosystem of partners to support our portfolio companies with the necessary domain or technical expertise.
Our platform provides founders access to the business insights of Temasek, the logistics & supply chain expertise of Kuehne + Nagel, and an ecosystem of high-value partners who will bring added support to help accelerate business growth. For more information, please visit: https://www.reefknotinvestments.com/
At SGInnovate, we build and scale Deep Tech startups into high potential companies with global impact. We believe that hard global problems can be solved using Deep Tech, and Singapore, where we are based, is uniquely positioned to realise Deep Tech innovations that can tackle these challenges. Our Deep Tech Nexus Strategy is focused on adding tangible value to the Deep Tech startup ecosystem in two key areas – development of Human Capital and deployment of Investment Capital. With the support of our partners and co-investors, we back entrepreneurial scientists through equity-based investments, access to talent and business-building advice. Our efforts are prioritised around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Tech, MedTech and Quantum Tech, which represent impactful and scalable answers to global challenges. SGInnovate is a private-limited company wholly owned by the Singapore Government. For more information, please visit www.sginnovate.com.
PRecious Communications for Reefknot Investments
IN.FOM for SGInnovate
The confirmed participations for this year’s showcase so far include:
The CarbonChain platform allows users to track assets directly across global supply chains. Utilising smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, the platform is able to track assets as they move from point of origin to the end customer. The CarbonChain platform has been built from the ground up to be highly scalable across multiple products and industries with opaque & easily manipulated supply chains.
Presenter: Adam Hearne (CEO & Co-Founder)
iLoan (Sri Lanka)
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. The service enables lenders to reduce invoice fraud, lower processing costs and have enhanced traceability for each transaction.
Presenter: Lakshan De Silva (CEO & Co-Founder)
Obillex is an innovative provider of trade finance solutions, with the goal of aiding SMEs to generate fast liquidity from their receivables. Their platform has been adopted by two major UK city councils and their platform provides the cutting-edge technology, support, and expertise that ensures partners get the most out of their product, as well as access to an extensive network of capital market investors.
Presenter: Harsh Khurana (CEO)
QNX Credit (China)
QNX Credit’s platform changes the traditional way of credit risk analysis and management for SMEs. Founded in 2017, the company aims to become a market leading credit risk underwriting and monitoring agency by deploying insurtech and big data analysis to support SMEs to get easy financing from various financial institutions.
Presenter: Hui Wang (Founder)
Nufin Data (Singapore)
Nufin Data is a fintech trade financing firm founded by Adera Global. With its proprietary cloud-based financing platform, NEMO, that enables connections between buyers and suppliers, Nufin Data offers alternative financing solutions to SMEs through trade related data and trade relationships. The platform was launched in April 2019 and has already funded SMEs in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with total gross transaction value of $6 million SGD.
Presenter: Denise Ang (Managing Director)
SourceSage is a venture-backed fintech company founded in early 2015. The SourceSage platform is a plug-and-play fintech platform which aims to allow companies to build marketplaces, payments, financing and logistics gateways. The company’s mission is to digitize and execute transactions in traditional industries which have fragmented procure-sales-to-pay processes.
Presenter: Jian Min Sim (CEO)
Flowcast is a VC-backed fintech startup based in Silicon Valley (HQ) and Singapore. Its mission is to help the underserved market gain access to capital through using AI/machine learning and data sources to unlock SME finance. Flowcast’s advanced machine learning platform harnesses untapped complex data to automate credit decisioning. Smartcredit’s proprietary machine learning algorithms can draw on more diverse data types, more detailed, and up-to-date company data to provide credit-decisioning on thin-file, credit invisible SMEs.
Presenter: Ken So (Founder & CEO)
Our Panel of Expert Judges Include:
Moderator: Ow Kim Kit (Partner at Bird & Bird)
Jun Nitta (Co-Head of Financial Services Sector Funds at IFC Asset Management)
Lawrence Loh (Managing Director and Head of Group Business Banking at UOB)
Ricard Marzo (Venture Analyst at Amplifier Lab)
Jasmine Ng (CEO Fintech at Razer)
At the end of the day, the winners in two categories: ‘Most Bankable’ and ‘Most Sustainable’ will be announced.
Tradetech Partner SpotlightAmazon Web Services (AWS) provides startups with the low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow. With the AWS Activate program, startups get access to the resources they need to quickly get started on AWS – including credits, training, and support.
We thank AWS for making available up to US$10,000 of startup promotional credits for this showcase.
GTR & GTR Ventures, together with partners and co-sponsors will be co-hosting Trade Rocks! Drinks and After Party at the Monti at Fullerton Pavilion on Wednesday September 4th 2019.
Trade Rocks! – an exclusive private event organised by GTR and GTR Ventures – is an opportunity for multiple decision makers and professional communities from banking, trade, treasury, capital markets, venture capital, funds, and fintechs to come together and network in a convivial atmosphere.
Chat over sunset drinks and enjoy an after party under the stars, while overlooking the Marina Bay waterfront!
Drinks start at 18:00h and Afterparty from 22:00h
Date: 4 September 2019
This event is by invitation only .
Please register here for your early bird tickets!
GTR and GTR Ventures gathers the banking, trade finance, insurance, trader, fintech and VC communities together for an evening of drinks and networking at The Exchange, Asia Square
Summer drinks on 27 June saw over 100 professionals within the industry attending! Watch this space as GTR Ventures strives to be a pioneer in the digital transformation of areas related to trade, treasury, credit insurance, supply chain, and physical trade.
Download and view all photos from the events here.
Participants include the following companies/institutions:
and many more!
Look out for our announcements in the next few months, including new deals in the pipeline.
Block your calender now for GTR Asia on the 3 and 4 Sep, the world’s largest gathering for trade and treasury professionals, with over 1200 in attendance, at the Marina Bay Sands.
On 4 Sep, GTR Ventures and its partners from the broader banking, fintech, and funds community, shall be organising another fun-filled Trade Rocks! Networking Drinks and Afterparty. Register your early interest with firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen!
Pictured above at the launch of the Networked Trade Platform (NTP), from left to right, Rupert Sayer Co-Founder and CEO GTR Ventures, Tingxi Tan Co-Founder and Head of Legal and Compliance Culum Capital, Ginnie Chin Co-Founder and CEO Culum Capital, Heng Swee Keat Singapore Finance Minister, Kelvin Tan Co-Founder and CIO GTR Ventures
Date: September 26, 2018
Location: Orchard Hotel Singapore
The Networked Trade Platform (NTP), which officially launched September 26 2018, combines all customs and trade-related services and brings together four government certification services required for trading in and out of Singapore. The Networked Trade Platform will replace TradeXchange and Tradenet, the two prior trade facilitation programs.
The NTP’s goal is to help digitize trade processing and bring the entire ecosystem to one platform, where individual entities can interact and trade together.
GTR Ventures’ portfolio company Culum Capital is one of the 90 organizations being onboarded to the Networked Trade Platform.
Date: October 22nd – October 25th
Location: Sydney, Australia
The 2018 SIBOS Conference returned to Sydney October 22 through October 25th. The event was held at the International Convention Center and had more than 7,500 attendees. The week’s themes related to financial technology, and the increasingly digitalized world of banking. Shayne Elliot, Chief Executive Officer of ANZ Bank, stated one of the weeks major themes in his keynote address, describing how banks need to become increasingly more agile and adaptive to the technological advances in society.
Kelvin Tan, Founder and CIO of GTR Ventures attended the week’s events along with portfolio company Tradeteq – represented by Mattia Tomba and André Casterman.
Mattia Tomba, Director Tradeteq and Head of Tradeteq Asia, pictured above at the HSBC Panel Event at Sibos 2018. The panel shared their thoughts on the evolution of trade finance as an asset class, and included Surath Sengupta – Global Head of Trade Portfolio Management at HSBC, Kah Chye Tan – Founder of CCRManager, Alexander R Malaket – CITP CTFP and President of Opus Advisory Services International, and André Casterman – Non-Executive Board Member and Chair Fintech Committee ITFA.
GTR Ventures is looking forward to SIBOS 2019, which will take place in London September 23rd through the 26th.
Date: November 12 – 16, 2018
Location: Singapore Expo
Singapore Fintech Festival drew nearly 45,000 participants from over 130 countries. GTR Ventures was excited to attend, alongside partner companies Lucidity and iLoan. The festival featured more than 250 speakers, including Christine Lagarde, Managing Director International Monetary Fund, Barbara Novick, Vice Chairman Blackrock, Ashok Vaswani, CEO Barclays Bank UK, Ari Sarker, Co-President Mastercard Asia Pacific, and Aharon Aharon, CEO Israel Innovation Authority.
GTR Ventures announced three new partnerships with Lucidity, iLoan, and RM Tech on the first day of the festival [see press release here]. Other announcements included the launch of the API Exchange, an online fintech marketplace, as well as Vanda Global Capital’s opening of their $1.5 billion Asia agriculture technology fund, in collaboration with Shenzhen Dayshine Fund Management and Raffles Capital.
GTR Ventures also attended many of the post-festival industry events, such as the Innovation Lab Crawl hosted by MUFG Bank, ADB Asian Fintech Night, and the UK Singapore Fintech Bridge Networking Reception.
The Singapore Fintech Festival will return next year 11th – 15th of November, and GTR Ventures is looking forward to attending this 4th edition of the festival.
Date: October 31st, 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Pictured above – Jolyon Ellwood-Russell, Partner at Simmons & Simmons and Advisory Board member of GTR Ventures, and Ningwa Lau, representative GTR Ventures (China and HK SAR), at Hong Kong Fintech Week 2018.
Fintech Week is the world’s first cross-border financial technology event, with over 8,000 senior executives and over 200 of the world’s leaders in the fintech industry including founders, investors, regulators, and academics. GTR Ventures was thrilled to be a part of this five day financial technology event that works to bring together innovative thinkers and industry leaders within the fintech and trade finance industries.
Significant takeaways pertinent to trade and supply chain included Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s launch of a new blockchain-based trade finance platform called “eTradeConnect”. This platform combines the services of 12 different banks, both domestic and international, with the goal of allowing better trading among the network of European and Asian organizations. Angie Lau, Bloomberg Television Asia’s former lead anchor, also announced the launch of her new blockchain-related news platform Forkast.news, where she will operate as the Chief and Lead Anchor.
On the 2nd day of HK Fintech Week LiqEase hosted a morning gathering of 25+ finance and industry experts to discuss the role technology is playing in disrupting trade finance and presenting access to new investment opportunities. Stakeholders, including deal originators, investors, and family offices, joined the LiqEase team at one of Hong Kong’s historical clubs and enjoyed a vibrant and interactive atmosphere learning about pain points in the international wine trade, and how LiqEase’s platform unlocks tied up capital in the supply chain – allowing firms and investors to both benefit from this new ecosystem and exciting asset class.
Prominent speakers throughout the week included Jim Lai, Tencent VP and Head of Fintech Greater China, Paul Chan, Financial Secretary the Government of Hong Kong, Norman Chan, Chief Executive HKMA, Ashley Alder CEO SFC, Jessica Tan, Executive VP, COO & CIO Ping An Group, Aldi Haryopratomo, CEO Go-Pay, Richard Mash, VP Paypal, Mancy Sun, Managing Director & Head (PSI) Goldman Sachs, and many others.
“Hong Kong Fintech Week, in its 3rd edition this year, is a splendid occasion in which to showcase to the world what Hong Kong has to offer” described Carrie Lam, CEO Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
GTR Ventures is looking forward to Hong Kong Fintech Week 2019.
倫敦和新加坡2018年11月13日電 /美通社/ —
PSA unboXed副總裁Elton Fong就此次交易表示：「我們非常高興投資Lucidity。
GTR Ventures信息總監Kelvin Tan稱：「
GTR Ventures 在倫敦、新加坡和香港設有總部，
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
Our press release is available in multiple languages:
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.
GTR Ventures has recently appointed Sébastien Bruyant as a Senior Advisor at GTR Ventures, as well as Aidan Beresford as the new fall analyst. They join a well-established team led by co-founders, Rupert Sayer and Kelvin Tan.
Sébastien Bruyant is a Senior Advisor at GTR Ventures. Sébastien co-founded and managed as CEO Alcora Global, a Fund Management Company in Singapore managing Alternative Trade Finance funds in Asia, investing in short term private trade financed debt issued by large and medium size materials player across the value chain, trade corridors, and industries.
Previously, Sébastien held various positions in public and private banks. He started his career working for the French State Investment Bank (Oseo) focusing on growing fast mid-cap companies in France before joining BNP Paribas in Singapore and then in Paris covering Natural Resources strategic projects and companies. Sébastien joined HSBC first in Paris to manage a the EMEA portfolio of Energy customers in the Commodity and Structured Trade Finance teams before being relocated to Hong-Kong SAR and prepare the ground for the deployment of the teams in Asia-Pacific. Lately, he was relocated to Singapore as Director (executive level) of the Strategic Energy Solutions Group at HSBC, and managed and developed a network of a strategic relationships with senior executives leading global and regional Energy enterprises in Asia-Pacific.
Sébastien has been a regular speaker to industry conferences.
Sébastien’s education includes MAP from INSEAD and a LLM (DESS) in Business Law from Paris-Dauphine University.
Aidan Beresford recently graduated from Brown University, and has previous experience as a Derivatives Group and Business Intelligence Intern at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.
GTR VENTURES MAKES FIRST AFRICA INVESTMENT
VENTURE BUILDING FIRM BACKS DIGITAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT PLATFORM ORBITT
London/Singapore – October 30 2018: GTR Ventures, the world’s first investment and venture-building platform specialized in trade and supply chain, has announced an investment in Orbitt – a pan-African focused fintech deals platform.
Orbitt connects investors with trade and investment opportunities through its smart-matching technology. The company has facilitated over $100m of equity, debt and trade finance transactions to date and is digitising the African investment ecosystem.
While becoming GTR Ventures first Africa-focused investment, Orbitt joins a growing portfolio of tech-enabled companies that are delivering products for the global trade and investment community. GTR Ventures, based out of London, Singapore, and Hong Kong, will work with Orbitt to strengthen their trade finance capabilities from a product and innovation perspective as well as growing the platform’s relationships within the global marketplace of traditional and digital trade finance players.
“Our partnership with GTR Ventures comes at an exciting time for us,” said Lanre Oloniniyi, Co-Founder of Orbitt. “GTR Ventures’ network of trade and export organisations will be important in helping us attract major banks and funds across Asia, Europe and the Middle-East, to increase trade finance lending and investment into Africa.”
The announcement falls during the Global Trade Review (GTR) Africa Trade and Investment Conference in London, which has become a key annual gathering for international trade, export and project finance professionals interested in the continent. Key financial institutions present at the conference include Afreximbank, Ecobank, Standard Chartered, SMBC and BACB.
Singapore-based Kelvin Tan, Chief Investment Officer of GTR Ventures elaborated, “Africa-Asia trade today stands at $500 bn, annually. However, capital providers to Africa remain hampered by the lack of financial tools and access to data. Orbitt’s technology can help lenders manage their risks, and to complete timely transactions in otherwise disconnected markets. We welcome partnerships with all stakeholders to improve credit transparency on the continent. Collectively, our vision is to enhance the bankability of every firm, SME, and transaction in Africa.”
Peter Gubbins, Managing Director of GTR and co-founder of GTR Ventures, added: “Although the continent has a trade finance gap of over $100bn, we see an increasing amount of institutional and impact capital keen on doing more with Africa. Leveraging GTR’s tremendous African footprint – Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, we see Orbitt working alongside our partner banks and funds to bridge this gap.”
For the first time, alternative funders will be able to derisk invoice and receivable finance transactions – reducing compliance costs and fraud.
Singapore, October 16 , 2018 – Fintech global invoice discounting platform Incomlend has adopted Invoice Check – a blockchain application developed by Trade Finance Market (TFM) – to quickly and easily determine if an invoice on their platform is potentially being double financed on the outside.
Invoice finance fraud is a huge problem because a financier has no way of knowing if an invoice is fraudulent or has already been financed by another funder. The International Chamber of Commerce found almost 20 percent of banks reported an increase in fraud allegations over the past year – representing a major threat for businesses and organizations around the globe. When a default occurs, there may be several funders who all think they own the invoice or receivable. This problem is magnified in cross border transactions, especially when only paper invoices are used and in markets where there is no central registry with which to register a charge.
Using blockchain technology, Invoice Check encrypts transaction data whilst also providing information on whether an invoice is potentially fraudulent or being double financed. A key difference with Invoice Check is that it does not rely on a central registry – using instead the power of decentralized ledger technology. Data is protected from potential competitors and is tamper resistant once on the blockchain. Invoice Check works alongside existing technologies and can be easily deployed via an API, which keeps costs down and increases accessibility.
Founding Partner of Incomlend, Dimitri Kouchnirenko, sees this as an important development:
“Partnering with TFM on invoice fraud risk mitigation through practical blockchain technology is a major milestone for Incomlend. We are proud to be on the forefront of innovation with TFM’s Invoice Check deployment into our systems, reinforcing even further our cross-border risk management framework. We invite all the fintech invoice trading platforms and other financiers to join the TFM initiative to build the world’s first global immutable registrar of receivables finance transactions based on decentralized ledger technology, contributing to making international trade finance a safer place.”
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Incomlend – demonstrating how fintechs are taking the lead in pioneering practical use of distributed ledger technology.” said TFM Executive Director, Raj Uttamchandani.”The inability to validate invoices is an obstacle for SMEs in obtaining finance and slows growth. Invoice Check fills this gap and utilizes blockchain in a way that has never been done before – with the end goal of providing funders with security and SMEs with liquidity.”
Kelvin Tan, Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of GTR Ventures, which has invested in both TFM and Incomlend, adds:
“We are very happy to see both our portfolio companies in the fintech lending space, working together to enhance their risk management processes. Multiple invoicing is a global, industry-level risk that afflicts not only alternative fintech lenders and factors, but also banks, insurers, and credit funds.
Such collaboration fulfills our vision to go beyond mere venture capital investing, and, as a venture builder, take proactive steps to solve structural pain points in the lending sector.”
Leveraging Singapore as a starting point as a trusted digital data hub, we welcome all lenders, banks, non-banks, and fintechs,to partner us in our vision to build an alliance to reduce risks in the lending sector, and mitigate fraud.”
Date: 26 September, 2018
Location: Orchard Hotel Singapore
Time: 10:30 AM
At the launch of the Networked Trade Platform (NTP), Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat outlined key initiatives for the new organization.
NTP seeks to digitalize trade documentation and processes, transforming the trade landscape while raising productivity and creating new opportunities for digital trade service providers and the trading community more generally.
Heng Swee Keat also hopes to broaden and globalize the Singapore trading community by integrating B2B and B2G transactions.
He described NTP as a transformational platform that will give Singapore traders a “one-stop” interface for all trade related regulatory transactions. He believes NTP will help boost productivity and competitiveness, while unveiling new opportunities to traders.
Click below for a link to the speech.