Trade finance blockchain joint venture Komgo raised 26 million Swiss francs ($29 million) in its third round of funding. The investment made SMBC and an anonymous global financial institution as two new shareholders, bringing the total number to twenty.
The Komgo Trade finance platform targets the commodities sector. It was launched in 2018 by ING, Société Générale, ABN Amro, Shell and eleven other organizations involved in the banking and oil sectors. The fact that the shareholders are a mix of banks, commodities and trading companies differentiates komgo from other trade finance platforms where the investors tend to be banks.
In the beginning, most of Komgo’s transactions came from oil and commodity companies using VAKT’s post-trade commodity blockchain, which has several common shareholders. Komgo started in Geneva and has already expanded to Singapore, with both locations being global commodity hubs. A portion of the investment from this funding will be directed towards expansion in the United States, with New York and Houston already online.
Besides expansion, Komgo will also allocate marketing funds to reach businesses beyond the pure commodity sector and invest in new features and refine its existing software solutions.
Komgo has developed four different solutions: konsole, market, check and trakk. “Konsole” is the leading service line for trade finance, “market” uses blockchain to help banks manage risk, “check” digitizes KYC trades, and “trakk” authenticates and traces digital documents. The solution uses the enterprise Ethereum blockchain technology.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increased demand for digital solutions across all sectors, which has contributed to the 50% increase in trade finance transactions on Komgo’s platform and the 65% growth of its customers over the past year. ING said 50 of its commodity customers use the solution. Komgo has many customers who are not shareholders, with 29 banks using the platform and 146 companies. Two that have been publicly announced include Lloyds Bankand Sberbank.
“The nature of Komgo’s business as a B2B financial software provider means that having the required institutional support is essential,” said Souleïma Baddi, CEO of Komgo. “Our founding shareholder base has so far enabled the company to play a leading role in transforming trade finance.”
Meanwhile, Komgo bought the trade finance platform TRAFEC at the beginning of 2020.