ASB Bank Invests In Blockchain Startup TradeWindow
ASB Bank was amongst the significant investors as Auckland startup ‘TradeWindow’ amassed $2.7m in a seed round.
A November 18, ‘Companies Office update’ shows ASB now owns 21% of TradeWindow. This makes it the second-largest shareholder after the company’s founder, AJ Smith.
The New Caledonia-based Leroux family office, together with their Auckland-based partner Te Hana consulting, and Perth-based Rae family – also competed in the round, TradeWindow says.
TradeWindow sells ‘software-as-a-service’ (SaaS) supply chain solutions or one part of the software or a “single trade window” that covers up all the complex elements of managing an export/import order.
The concept is that companies can shift from scrabbling emails collectively to a single dashboard, including elements such as regulatory documents, payment, and shipping, insurance, and customs paperwork.TradeWindow is yet in a pre-commercial phase.
The TradeWindow platform was strongly piloted by ASB Bank last year for a “shadow trade” between a significant Kiwi meat exporter, Greenlea Premier Meats and a Korean importer; that is, it shadowed or trailed along as more conventional methods were used for the trade.
TradeWindow has numerous pilot projects undertaken with other Kiwi exporters in different sectors, including one with ‘Fiordland Lobster Company,’ New Zealand’s biggest lobster exporter, the company says.
AJ Smith, who established TradeWindow in association with ASB, states the new funding round is a massive vote of confidence in the potential of the TradeWindow platform.
“We have rapidly progressed the product’s capabilities, and now that it has been thoroughly tested and validated, TradeWindow is very close to commercial launch,” he says.
“This is piquing the interest of some of the region’s most experienced exporters, carriers, banks, ports, and airlines.”
TradeWindow utilizes the “blockchain” transactional database technology primarily developed to underpin the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Alex Sims, Auckland University commercial law professor, said that blockchain’s security and the audit-friendly ability for all parties to transparently support a series of transactions would drive it into the mainstream.
Alex Sims recognized blockchain becoming as omnipresent as the internet is today.