ING And BNP Paribas Invest In Blockchain-powered Trade Platform TradeIX

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TradeIX, the startup behind a blockchain-based platform for open-account trade finance, has raised $16 million in a funding round led by ING Ventures and joined by BNP Paribas.

Tech Mahindra and Norwegian investment firm Kistefos also joined the round, the proceeds of which will be used to boost hiring and customer acquisition, as well as develop TradeIX's platform.

The UK-based startup says that its decentralised API-powered platform connects with existing trade platforms and applications to enable trade business to become transparent, faster, and more efficient, improving connectivity to the wider ecosystem.

Last year, TradeIX teamed up with R3 on the Marco Polo initiative involving international trade banks - including BNP and ING - aimed at further developing the use of distributed ledger into trade transactions.

Focused on three distinct areas of trade finance - risk mitigation by provision of payment commitments based on the matching of trade data, payables finance, and receivables finance - Marco Polo aims for end-to-end, real-time, connectivity between trade participants and elimination of the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.

Mark Buitenhek, head, transaction services, ING, says: "TradeIX operates via an open platform and ‘open’ is what ING thinks the future of financial services is going to be. On top of that, we see a lot of opportunity in distributed ledger technology, so we’re happy to announce we are now intensifying our cooperation with TradeIX."

Jacques Levet, head, transaction banking, Emea, BNP Paribas, adds: "We believe that TradeIX is at an inflection point, and look forward to working with the team to deliver several new innovations that we believe will fundamentally change how banks are offering and managing trade finance solutions for their corporate clients."