New Zealand’s ASB Bank joins $1.7M round for trade finance blockchain startup

New Zealand-based ASB Bank, owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has participated in an NZ$2.67 million (~US$1.7 million) seed funding round for trade finance blockchain startup TradeWindow.

Announced Monday, TradeWindow said this is ASB’s repeat investment in the startup, with two new investors - family office Leroux and their consulting partner Te Hana, as well as family office Rae also participating in the round. ASB previously invested a “significant” amount in TradeWindow in August and now reportedly owns 21% of the startup. 

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With the fresh capital, TradeWindow aims to commercially launch its blockchain-based trade finance platform. Through a “single trading window,” the startup claims to help users save on costs by sharing trade information under one platform.

“ASB supported and invested in TradeWindow early on because we could see the opportunity and the need to simplify the export process, while also providing a secure platform to share relevant information and documentation,” said Nigel Annett, executive general manager of business banking at ASB, which "successfully" piloted by TradeWindow's platform last year.

TradeWindow founder and CEO, AJ Smith, said that the platform has been “thoroughly” tested and is now “very close” to commercial launch. “This is piquing the interest of some of the region’s most experienced exporters, carriers, banks, ports and airlines,” he added.