Global electronic trade platform bolero.net says it has raised $50 million in first round funding.
The company was established by interbank network Swift and logistics outfit the Throught Transport Club with a brief to develop an integrated Internet-based trade finance and payment platform. Bolero claims to have signed fifty large multinational corporations, banks, logistics companies and B2B exchanges, including seven out of the top ten international banks and five out of the top ten container shipping companies.
First round funding was led by Apax Partners Europe IV fund, which invested $30 million. Baring Asia Private Equity Fund II invested $15 million, and Palio Portfolio $5 million. The existing shareholders, Swift and the TT Club have maintained their participation.
UBS Warburg arranged the funding. According to managing director Tom Cooper: "Fifty million dollars is a significant amount to raise against a difficult investment climate. The success of this financing demonstrates the robustness and exciting potential of bolero.net's business."
Barry Morse, bolero.net chief executive says the new funding will help to extend the company's global reach and deepen relationships with its existing client base. "The funds will also be used to make our services faster to implement, easier to use and cheaper to deliver," he adds.
Independent observers have suggested that the cost of documentation and administration absorbs $420 billion a year, representing seven per cent of the total value of world trade. Bolero supporters reckon it can reduce these costs by over 30%.