Trade finance technology firm TradeSun has bought trade data and analytics provider Coriolis Technologies for an undisclosed sum, as it seeks to expand its offering around environmental, social and governance (ESG)-compliant trade.

US-based TradeSun first entered the trade finance space in 2018, piloting an artificial intelligence-based solution to digitise and automate the processing of trade documents with a group of nine banks the following year.

The company has since launched its platform, which extracts and standardises data from documents using optical character recognition and natural language processing technology. Banks upload data either manually or through an application programming interface.

Financial institutions can then run compliance checks or verify whether their document meets international rules such as the International Chamber of Commerce’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits.

Founded in 2017 by economist and trade expert Rebecca Harding, Coriolis Technologies has launched several trade-related analytics products, with its most recent being the first fully automated and standardised tool for measuring ESG factors and sustainability.

Released in October this year, Automated ESG Ratings enables firms to ESG activity of companies and supply chains, scoring them against sustainability regulations including the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, the EU’s taxonomy, dual-use products, political risk and negative news. It also assesses scope one, two and three greenhouse gas emissions, which together cover carbon emissions generated by a company and its supply chain.

The tool was the main outcome from the Kosmos consortium, a working group convened by Coriolis in 2021 and made up of numerous banks, insurers and professional bodies, including the Asian Development Bank, AIG, Boston Consulting Group, Commerzbank, CIMB, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Enigio, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Institute of Export & International Trade, the International Trade Centre, the International Trade and Forfaiting Association, Lloyds Bank, MineHub, NatWest, Santander, SMBC and the Trade Advisory Network.

In August, TradeSun incorporated the tool onto its platform, holding discussions with banks about its use.

Shortly afterwards, Coriolis entered into a collaboration with Surecomp to connect the tool to the Toronto-based tech firm’s collaborative platform, Rivo, which includes a scoring algorithm that aligns with the ICC’s sustainable trade and trade finance framework – an initiative that Coriolis has been involved in as a technology pilot partner.

TradeSun tells GTR that with its purchase of Coriolis, it will now deliver the company’s ESG products, including these collaborations.

The company adds in a statement that the acquisition is the first in its expansion plans, as it seeks to “fulfil its vision of seamless, digitalised and more sustainable trade flows that allow regions and their people to prosper.”

“This is a culmination of years of work into creating credible measurements of global trade, and a testament to the success we have had in convening the industry around the ESG dimension,” Harding, who will now act in a part-time strategic advisory capacity to TradeSun, tells GTR. “As we have seen with recent developments in the fintech space, the barriers to entry for success are absolutely huge. Having greater capitalisation and the TradeSun team behind it will mean that the technology now has every chance of being able to thrive and grow. This is a real win-win story for sustainability in trade.”