Singapore-based fintech Triterras has launched two new modules on its trade and trade finance blockchain platform, which targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Trade finance and risk management modules are now available to users of Kratos, a blockchain platform that aims to improve SME access to financing, while also making trade more efficient and transparent by digitising trade documents, giving all parties involved in a transaction complete knowledge of its status and progress.

The trade finance module –  launched in February – specifically allows SMEs to request financing from alternative lenders. These lenders can then track and manage their investments on the platform.

Triterras founder and chairman Srinivas Koneru tells GTR: “Within a month of launching the trade finance module, Triterras had six funds onboarded and deployed over US$179mn in trade financing to SMEs.”

Meanwhile, with the new risk management module, the platform will make trade finance processes more secure for these lenders, as they’ll be able to do the necessary checks, such as KYC/AML or bill of lading checks, on the platform itself.

Koneru says: “It is very difficult to originate a loan in Asia and track it appropriately while sitting in London or San Francisco. This is especially true since alternative lenders, unlike banks, typically do not employ a large back office team to do KYC/AML background checks and detailed transactional document checks at every level. Also, fraud is plausible because the current process lacks transparency.”

This is the third module Triterras (its tech division was formerly known as Arkratos) has brought out since launching the Ethereum-based trading platform in 2018, having initially gone live with its trade discovery module in June last year.

This module allows buyers and sellers to perform bilateral trading, with trade documents such as sales or purchase contracts and invoices digitised, and the hashes stored in blockchain using smart contract technology. This, in theory, improves transparency and efficiency, while reducing the chances of document alteration.

Speaking to GTR about this module, Koneru notes: “Triterras has captured about US$3.5bn-worth of trade transactions on the Kratos platform, with Rhodium Resources, which is part of the Triterras group, capturing about US$2bn.”

He says Triterras has now moved all of its traditional Rhodium business, such as trade and trade finance, onto the Kratos platform, adding “we have onboarded about 50 traders on Kratos and they have done about US$1.5bn between themselves”.

The firm is set to launch an insurance module in the next couple of months, and says it will make a shipping and logistics module available on Kratos later this year.

Koneru adds: “The platform is not limited geographically, but it started out with a focus in Southeast Asia and the surrounding regions. Looking forward, there is a growth opportunity and a lack of funding for SMEs in other areas. We are looking to expand and provide more trade financing options in South America later this year.”