Rabo Frontier Ventures acquires a stake in trade and commodities blockchain based platform komgo
Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV), Rabobank’s strategic investment arm, invested in komgo SA. komgo is a venture that seeks to digitalise the trade and commodities finance sector through a blockchain based open platform. komgo is launched by fifteen of the world’s largest institutions, including banks, energy majors, trading companies and an inspection company.
komgo is a secured platform that is part of an emerging global ecosystem aiming to optimise the flow of physical commodity operations, like energy commodities. “The initiative komgo marks a new era in blockchain technology. Not a standalone experiment or technology oriented venture/pilot, but a venture where market leaders embrace the benefits of the technology and deploy it on their core processes. That makes the difference”, said Harrie Vollaard, Head of Rabo Frontier Ventures.
Michiel Teunissen, Head of Innovation Trade & Commodity Finance at Rabobank: “In the trade and commodities business there is still a substantial amount of physical paper and manual labour involved the daily processes, which can cause long settlement times and bring along certain operational risks. With komgo we are going to be able to take out a substantial part of the manual handlings and make our processes faster and easier for our customers.”
Partners of Rabobank in komgo, managed and operated as an independent entity, are BNP Paribas, Citi, ABN AMRO, Crédit Agricole Groupe, Gunvor, ING, Koch, Macquarie, Mercuria, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Shell, SGS and Societe Generale.
Ninth investment RFV
The investment in komgo marks the ninth investment of Rabo Frontier Ventures, which was established by Rabobank in March 2017. The stated mission of the 70-million-euro fund is to invest in high-potential FinTech and Food & Agricultural companies which align with the bank’s strategic direction and offer new long-term opportunities for clients.
komgo will start with two products, expected to launch before year-end. The first one will standardize and facilitate Known Your Customer (KYC) process without using a central database: the exchange of documents will be executed in an encrypted way over the blockchain on a need to know basis. The second product will be digitalizing of letters of credit, allowing commodity houses or other platforms to submit digital trade data and documents to komgo customer banks of their choice. komgo will be developed in partnership with ConsenSys and has been incorporated in Geneva.