GTR Ventures, the world’s first investment and venture-building platform specialized in trade and supply chain, has announced its debut deals with five trade fintech companies – Tradeteq, Trade Finance Market, Culum Capital, eFundSME and Incomlend. These deals are the first in a strong pipeline of transactions. GTR Ventures has taken equity positions in the five companies, collectively valuing them at around US$50mn.

The companies – four digital trade lenders and a platform for institutional investors to access global trade instruments – have facilitated over US$160mn of trade loan deals since their inception. Launched in September 2017, GTR Ventures will work with the companies and build their businesses including through global expansion, development of new products such as trade finance indices, and connection to a global marketplace for digital trade finance assets.

“We are excited to partner with GTR Ventures as Tradeteq continues to grow,” said Christoph Gugelmann, CEO of UK-headquartered Tradeteq: “This partnership will help us expand our reach to all players within the trade ecosystem and consolidate our European bases while expanding to markets in Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.”

Kelvin Tan, CIO of GTR Ventures said: “The global trade sector is transforming with digitisation and data-driven infrastructure connecting diverse players across the physical and financial aspects of trade. The founders behind Tradeteq, Trade Finance Market, Culum Capital, eFundSME and Incomlend, are driving that change by using technology and data analytics to mitigate risks, make lending more efficient and close the trade finance gap. Our vision is to work with these companies and build strategic first-mover stakes in the future of trade.”

Rupert Sayer, CEO of GTR Ventures, said: “The rapidly changing landscape of trade presents exciting opportunities for investors. As our debut deals show, GTR Ventures is uniquely positioned to identify exceptional investments and, through partnerships and alliances, build a global network that will shape the future of both trade and trade finance.”

GTR Ventures is working on a strong pipeline of additional investments and expects to close five more deals and global partnerships in the next quarter.

Trade finance, which supports annual global trade of US$16tn, is an emerging niche investment area. However, some 30% of global trade, or US$5tn, is under-financed. This trade finance gap presents a growing opportunity for debt and equity investors. While returns from trade have traditionally come from providers of debt capital, the emergence of tradetechs presents a new opportunity for private equity and other investors looking to diversify.

GTR Ventures is the venture investment arm of GTR.