ASB Bank was among the major investors as Auckland startup TradeWindow raised $2.7m in a seed round.
A November 18 Companies Office update shows ASB now owns 21 per cent of TradeWindow.
That makes it the second-largest shareholder behind the company’s founder, AJ Smith.
Two investors in shipping and logistics – the New Caledonia-based Leroux family office jointly with their Auckland-based partner Te Hana consulting, and Perth-based Rae family – also participated in the round, TradeWindow says.
TradeWindow sells software-as-a-service (SaaS) supply chain solution – or one bit of software or a “single trade window” that wraps up all the complicated components of arranging an export/import order.
The idea is that companies can move from scrabbling emails together to a single dashboard covering elements such as payment, regulatory documents and insurance, shipping and Customs paperwork.
TradeWindow is still in a pre-commercial phase.
The TradeWindow platform was successfully piloted by ASB Bank last year for a “shadow trade” between a Korean importer and a major Kiwi meat exporter, Greenlea Premier Meats (that is, it shadowed or tagged along as more traditional methods were used for the trade).
TradeWindow has several pilot projects underway with other Kiwi exporters in different sectors, including one with Fiordland Lobster Company, New Zealand’s largest lobster exporter, the company says.
AJ Smith, who founded TradeWindow in partnership with ASB, says the new funding round is a huge vote of confidence in the potential of the TradeWindow platform.
“We have rapidly progressed the product’s capabilities and now that it has been thoroughly tested and validated, TradeWindow is very close to commercial launch,” he says.
“This is piquing the interest of some of the region’s most experienced exporters, carriers, banks, ports and airlines.”
TradeWindow uses the “blockchain” transactional database technology first developed to underpin the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Earlier, Auckland University commercial law professor Alex Sims said blockchain’s security and audit-friendly ability for all parties to transparently follow a series of transactions would push it into the mainstream.
Sims saw blockchain becoming as ubiquitous as the internet is today.