The DNI Initiative has established the most specialised community of technology firms, financial institutions, corporates and additional stakeholders committed to digitise trade documents and negotiable instruments as per UNCITRAL MLETR-compatible laws.
Mitigram is a leading digital platform in global trade financing, headquartered in Sweden. Already used by over 200 multinational corporations, leading commodity traders and financial institutions, Mitigram enables the assessment of real-time risks, capacity and pricing from partner banks, while leveraging Swift connectivity, APIs and fast-learning AI to deliver the best possible financing access and execution, regardless of instrument, bank, format or channel.
Today’s trade finance is still surprisingly manual. Outdated email, with multiple attached spreadsheets fly around the world, chased up by numerous, time-consuming phone calls. In an interview with ‘Export Manager’, Milena Torciano, CEO of Mitigram, and Christian Zürcher, Sales Director at Mitigram, explain the platform that is part of the global journey in digitalizing trade finance.
Export Manager: Digital platforms are marketplaces that bring together supply and demand for standardised products. How have you managed to digitise trade finance?
Milena Torciano: Trade finance is a very complex area to digitise. It spans more than 100 markets with different legal systems, different regulatory frameworks, different cultures and different people. It is extremely difficult to find a common standard, common technology and infrastructure, and truly streamlined processes. We've come a long way in realizing our vision: we now have more than 200 leading multinationals, commodity traders and most of the world's largest trade finance banks using Mitigram.
Trade finance marketplace Mitigram has hired an executive director for financial institutions as it seeks to consolidate and grow its relationships with banks.
Simon de Monte has taken up the newly created role, based in London, after 16 years of various trade and wholesale banking roles at Bank ABC.
The company says it has some 75 financial institution groups registered on the platform and de Monte will be charged with increasing that number, helping oversee existing relationships, and co-ordinating the activities of local sales directors.
He will jointly report to chief executive Milena Torciano and to Joshua Cohen, the company’s managing director for financial institutions.
De Monte began his career at the London Forfaiting Company and had a short stint at ABN Amro, before joining Bank ABC’s parent company, the Arab Banking Corporation.
“We are delighted to have Simon joining the Mitigram team,” Torciano tells GTR.
“His customer-centric focus, keen interest in trade digitisation and depth of experience in trade and commodities finance make him an invaluable asset to our future growth.”
De Monte says he is “extremely excited to be joining the team at Mitigram to help maintain and grow its FI client member banks”.
“Digitalisation is key to the development of many aspects of trade and commodity finance in the future, and by joining Mitigram I look forward to playing a role in accelerating the pace of change, providing a much more seamless experience for all of the parties involved in international trade.”
Mitigram bills itself as the world’s largest trade finance marketplace and says it facilitates more than US$2.5bn-worth of transactions monthly.
"Globalization and digitization have transformed companies into digital enterprises, and new market opportunities and counterparties can potentially be found and exploited quickly, However, trade finance has not kept up." said Mitigram's CEO Milena Torciano in her recent interview with PYMNTS.Read the full interview PYMNTS
With GTR returning to the Nordic region for its leading annual Trade Finance conference, Mitigram - born in the Nordics and today the world's premier global platform for funding and hedging trade risks - celebrated 5 years since its official launch.
Bolero International, the leading global trade finance digitisation expert, has announced an important new partnership with Mitigram, the premier online global platform for funding and hedging trade risk.
Stockholm-based fintech company Mitigram has revealed a new feature called Open Market Discovery on its marketplace. The tool enables corporates to build new relationships with financial institutions (FIs) to finance and cover exposures that their usual banks and insurers may not be able to service.
The Mitigram marketplace was first piloted in 2015 alongside some of Scandinavia's largest corporations and banks, and has since then grown to 200+ top registered corporates, traders and financial institutions.
Although business lending requires the aggregation of data from a multitude of sources, there is typically only one financial institution managing the process. Trade finance and the facilitation of trade transactions, however, require complex coordination between businesses, their service providers and their financial institutions to ensure that jobs are complete and goods are moved before any money changes hands.
Communication is key to any relationship, but when data and documents are shared via phone and email into proprietary systems, information can be locked behind silos instead of readily available to the business partners who need it.
According to Mitigram Chief Executive Officer Milena Torciano, this challenge is only getting harder thanks to heightening anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) requirements, as well as open banking and PSD2’s reach into the corporate banking sector.
At the world’s leading international treasury event, 22 technology firms pitched their solutions in a bid to win our Technology Innovation Award. They showcased their solutions from payments and FX to supply chain finance, trade, compliance and more, to see what emerging fintechs, banks and treasury suppliers are developing in response to the issues that plague corporate treasury the most.
We were delighted to announce Mitigram as the winner of the 2019 Technology Innovation Award in Copenhagen.
Mitigram has secured SEK 100 million in funding with lead investor Sampo plc, through its wholly owned subsidiary Mandatum Life, twelve months after its Series A funding round. Sampo plc is a listed, long-term owner of financial services assets, covering both traditional banks and insurance companies – the Group owns 21 per cent of Nordea – as well as technology platforms through its investments in Nordax and Saxo Bank.
We have interviewed Kerstin Cooley and Kaj Hed from MOOR, one of Mitigram’s main investors, so that they can tell you a little bit about themselves and why they are supporting Mitigram.
MOOR is a private investment company funded by serial entrepreneur Kaj Hed - former majority owner of Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds. MOOR was co-founded by, and is managed by Kerstin Cooley.
Hello, Kaj and Kerstin, could you tell us a bit about yourselves? How are you connected to fintech?
Kaj founded Trema, and over a decade, built it into an international leader in the treasury management system market. The product was used by treasury functions at global Fortune 500 companies, and adopted by numerous central banks. Trema was eventually acquired by Wall Street systems. Kerstin was also part of the Trema journey, working with strategic client implementations in multiple geographies. Later on, Kerstin worked with Hedge Funds and other structured products at SEB. Now, at MOOR, we both meet lots of exciting startup opportunities in the fintech space, and invest in a few select opportunities such as Mitigram.
What do you think are the main challenges faced by the corporate banking industry?
Digital disruption has the potential to deeply reposition the role of today’s banks, and we believe that those that embrace this disruption and embark on a digitization journey will have the potential to offer better, faster, cheaper services, making them an even more essential part of everyday life for their customers. If the existing banking players are to benefit from growth driven by new services and productivity, Openness, Collaboration and Investment are critical themes they need to address. Many banks only have a fragmented or opportunistic strategy for dealing with digital innovation. Certainly, legacy technology and the difficulty of deploying new technology fast and current skills and culture present a challenge. Most banks are minimally equipped for the digital age.
Do you see a need for a corporate banking marketplace? What would it look like?
We are strong believers in the transformative power of cloud/SAAS based delivery models where the focus is on delivering high quality user experience as well as rapid feature evolution and delivery. From the corporate banking perspective, we believe that a lot of value can be added by simplifying and speeding up the process of finding counter parties, price discovery, and transaction completion. Furthermore, we feel there is a big opportunity to increase transparency in the market, to the benefit of all parties, by providing all actors with structured, real-time market data. Today this is not available, due to the fact that transaction level data is currently isolated and stored locally in an unstructured manner in emails or excel sheets, making it impossible to aggregate market-level data.
Why do you believe in Mitigram?
As committed, early stage investors, we have a strong focus on the team quality. We are convinced about the Mitigram team’s ability to execute on their mission to build a company that adds digital value to existing corporate banking flows, such as in trade finance. An important team factor here is the ability to navigate and adapt to the needs of the market, as well as innovating and creating features that lead the market forward. At MOOR, we like teams focused on solving the needs of deep, global markets in specialised spaces, where there is an opportunity to build long term success stories.
If you had one piece of advice to give Mitigram, which one would it be?
Always to keep the spirit of thought leadership, and the vision that originally inspired the founders to embark on their journey to build the Mitigram offering.
Mitigram, the Stockholm-based fintech specialized in Trade Finance, is closing a SEK 50M (USD 5.8M) Series-A funding round with Swedish investors Johan Andersson (CEO of family-owned investment company Mellby Gård) and Fort Knox. Mitigram already has backing from serial entrepreneur and investor Kaj Hed (founder and significant owner of Rovio Entertainment, Angry Birds) via the venture capital fund, Moor Capital. Moor is also participating in this Series-A round.
Launched in 2015 and with over USD12bn trades facilitated to-date, Mitigram is the fastest growing platform for the global industry of trade finance, with users such as Exporters, Traders and Banks funding, hedging and distributing risks of international trade transactions. Mitigram has a number of Multi-National Corporations, global and regional banks as users, and was awarded EuroFinance Award for Technology Innovation Winner 2019.
The funding will be used to scale operations in Europe and Asia; advance the platform’s core technology; drive the development of its digital capabilities, analytics and visualizations; and further integrate networking features to deliver on our mission of connecting counterparties in global trade.
Speaking of the funding round, Milena Torciano (Mitigram CEO) commented “This is excellent news and an indication of the level of confidence our investors have in Mitigram. Our business is growing in volumes and across geographies, our team is expanding and the backing of strong, knowledgeable and long-term investors like Moor, Mellby Gård and Fort Knox will support us in meeting our goals.”
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