Internet trade finance outfit Bolero says it has completed a new internal funding round led by existing investors Apax Partners and Baring Private Equity Asia on the back of rising interest in its bank-neutral financial supply chain platform.
The vendor says an additional seven financial firms are now live with its multi-bank platform - Credit Suisse, ING Wholesale Banking, Dresdner Bank, Zürcher Kantonalbank, HypoVereinsbank, Fortis Bank and HSH Nordbank. The banks have implemented the system initially to support Glencore, the Swiss-based physical commodities marketing company which went live on BOlero in March last year.
In addition, Bolero says other banks including ABN Amro and most recently KBC Bank have signed up for the programme and are currently in implementation with one of a number of corporate clients.
Bolero was conceived to create a neutral secure platform enabling paperless trading between buyers, sellers and their logistics service and bank partners, but struggled to gain traction in its early years. The utility-based service says the recent revival in its fortunes demonstrates an increasing demand from multinational corporations for bank-neutral back office technology, which has helped it secure a "significant cash injection" under its latest round of funding.
Bolero has not disclosed how much it raised in the funding, but says it will use the capital to expand its technology development facilities.
Arthur Vonchek, CEO of Bolero, says the increasing uptake of the platform clearly indicates "a paradigm shift to corporate-centric and therefore multi-bank trade services".
"Leading corporate customers are working with their major bank partners to provide a common platform for automation of key aspects of the financial supply chain. This provides the bank with competitive advantage and the ability to engage in delivery of further value to their corporate customers," says Vonchek. "It finally breaks down the major barriers which originated from the lack of standardisation in the corporate to bank space, and the need for both bank and corporate to protect their own back-office technology investments."