Singapore: GTR Ventures backs five tradetech firms, plans more deals in Q2

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Trade and supply chain-focused investor GTR Ventures has announced its debut investments in five trade fintech companies – Tradeteq, Trade Finance Market, Culum Capital, eFundSME and Incomlend – collectively valuing them at around $50 million.

The financial details of each investment were not disclosed.

Taking an equity position in the five companies, the London, Hong Kong and Singapore-based firm on Monday said that the deals were the first in a strong pipeline of transactions. The venture builder further added that it expects to close five more deals and global partnerships in the next quarter.

The recently funded companies – four digital trade lenders and a platform for institutional investors to access global trade instruments – have facilitated over $160 million of trade loan deals since their inception.

Among the companies, three are Singapore-headquartered — eFundSME is an e-marketplace for invoice trading. Trade Finance Market (TFM) provides alternative trade finance solutions for small and medium enterprises and Culum Capital provides Singaporean SMEs with access to working capital funded by accredited investors.

GTR Ventures has also invested in Incomlend, which operates in Hong Kong and Singapore, a global invoice exchange where companies from different countries can fund their export receivables by selling them to private investors at a discount. The fifth company to receive investment is UK-based Tradeteq that provides the collaborative network for trade finance investors and originators, to connect, interact, and transact.

Launched in September 2017, GTR Ventures invests in trade-focused fintech companies and focuses on four main investment areas — transaction banking (trade finance, treasury and cash), trade insurance and risk management, SME finance and supply chain, and physical trade.

Trade finance, which supports an annual global trade of $16 trillion, is an emerging niche investment area. However, some 30 per cent of global trade, or $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 trade-techs presents a new opportunity for private equity and other investors looking to diversify, a statement from 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,” said Kelvin Tan, CIO of GTR Ventures.

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