Citi Raises Investment In Ethereum-Based Trade Financing Platform Komgo

Investment banking firm Citi has increased its equity stake in ethereum-based decentralized trade financing startup Komgo.

Launched in 2018 in partnership with ConsenSys, Komgo is a platform that digitizes and streamlines trade and commodity finance. The platform allows equities traders, financial institutions, and trade service providers to communicate across blockchain technology.

While speaking with ConsenSys earlier this month, Citi’s global head of commodity trade finance, Kris van Broekhoven, revealed tha the bank has “topped up” its equity in Komgo “to allow the company to continue developing.”

“Citi is one of the founding investors of komgo,” said van Broekhoven. “We first invested in the company when it was established in early 2018, and recently topped up our equity to allow the company to continue developing. Since Citi’s global trade business is managing the investment, I am directly involved in partnering with Komgo. We did that to help maximize the value we can bring to Komgo in the early stage of product development and user engagement. Citi, similar to other supporting banks and corporates, contributes time and resources to product development workshops, IT and security reviews, and shares user feedback. We even started integrating our trade processing system with Komgo so we can already start to see reduced turnaround times and capture the benefits that komgo brings.”

According to van Broekhoven, Citi decided to join Komgo because it is one of the only consortiums that combines banks and corporates as founders.

“As other banks are striving towards this similar goal, we realized early on that this would be much stronger if we band together and co-create with Komgo,” he said. “By working to bring the market together and developing a solution along with other banks and corporate users, we strive to achieve more.”

He also said that the bank’s involvement in Komgo has triggered a lot of interest from their clients.

“Digitization is a top priority in many of our client conversations, and frankly, you have to be directly involved to really understand what is going on, and to have a meaningful dialogue on the subject,” van Broekhoven said. “That is what komgo has already brought to Citi. We learned a lot about blockchain, about what drives users to change their behaviour, and how we can help solve pain points not only for ourselves but for the wider ecosystem.”

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