Singapore: tryb Capital invests $4m in digital freight contracts firm Chinsay AB

Visual of Tryb Capital homepage. April 2017

Singapore-based tryb Capital, a growth-stage technology investor, has made a $4 million strategic investment in Chinsay AB, a cloud-based platform for end- to-end administration of global commodity and freight contracts.

The investment will be used to fund the continued development of Chinsay’s next-generation product and expansion into Asian markets, the company said in a statement.

The investment also marks tryb Capital’s first publicly disclosed investment and gels with its thesis of having portfolio companies developing “B2B infrastructure platforms that connect financial institutions, corporates and individuals.”

With offices in Sweden and Singapore, Chinsay provides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) contract and risk management solutions that enable its customers to enforce compliance, save time and provide insight into their trading process.

It applies back-end APIs to enable clear productivity benefits for global traders, shipping companies and brokers, as well other players in the trade and trade finance space.

Dag Sundén-Cullberg, founder and chief executive of Chinsay, said: “Chinsay’s board and team see this as a great opportunity for the company to take in additional capital for the current expansion phase while staying fully independent and at the same time getting a strategically important shareholder with an active agenda in the technology industry.”

Chinsay sees a strong acceleration in growth in Asia alongside its major clients, which include the likes of ADM, Cargill, K Line, Noble Group, NYK, Rio Tinto, South32 and Unipec.

Magnus Böcker, Chairman and Co-Founder of tryb Capital, said: “Singapore’s position as a key shipping and trading hub made it more attractive for Tryb Capital to invest into Chinsay. This is a great example of how innovative technologies from anywhere, in this case Sweden, can leverage Singapore as a growth platform into Asia.”

tryb Capital focuses on technology investments ‘in financial sub-sectors with strong growth driven by evolving economic conditions, financial regulation and information security requirements,’ with interests in artificial intelligence (AI), big data, transformative workflow solutions, disruptive systems, or distribution platforms promoting financial inclusion.

Its current investment strategy sees it investing up to $10 million per transaction, with a minimum ticket of $500,000 that sees it buying out or taking a significant minority position. According to the firm, it has a current corpus of $100 million and is targeting seven to ten investments per annum.

In an email exchange with this portal, Markus Gnirck, managing director of tryb Capital, explained the rationale behind their latest investment.

Edited excerpts:

How does this investment play into your portfolio construction approach? 

The investment into Chinsay represents very nicely how we are building up a portfolio of infrastructure technology companies that transform financial services. Chinsay will play an integral part for tryb Capital’s strategy in the trade finance industry to provide next generation data and analytics tools.

It is a vital part in the ongoing digitisation of trade and trade finance which will connect traders, brokers, shipping companies, ports and financial institutions. We are excited to explore further investment opportunities in this space.

What’s your take on how trade finance will evolve on ASEAN in the future? 

Trade finance in ASEAN is going through a wave of digitisation to streamline processes, enhance efficiencies and reduce friction across the entire value chain. Given Singapore’s efforts to become the leading Smart Financial Centre and to build the national trade platform, technologies are necessary to connect all stakeholders, from financial institutions, port authorities to shipping companies.

The macroeconomic developments in nationalising trade (new US policies) will increase the ASEAN trade links between Indian and China. Hence, the integration of regional trade platforms is necessary to increase flow and provide state of the art technologies.

Would you describe tryb Capital as being more of a PE play operating in the mid-market space or a sort of hybrid? 

tryb Capital is a growth stage technology investor that takes a PE approach to driving operational excellence and value creation. Our unique structure as a holding company allows us to take minority to majority stakes in mid-market and venture stage companies, create synergies across the portfolio and provide liquidity for consolidation and acquisition.

 What support do your portfolio firms enjoy?

We provide a strong operational approach to drive the growth of the portfolio companies – all necessary to scale the companies into ASEAN financial services. That ranges from enterprise sales, governance, regulatory issues, finance and hiring. The diverse background of the founding, investment and operation team of tryb Capital brings all necessary tribes together to create value for all shareholders.

Also Read: 

Deeper complexity in Europe, greater volume in Asia: Marcus Gnirck

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.