Velotrade, a leading digital platform for trade finance, has won the Best SME Invoice Solution award at TechChallenge, a joint initiative of Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) and The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) that is designed to showcase the potential for new technologies to resolve problems in trade finance.
Prizes were presented during Hong Kong Fintech Week (November 2-6) when Velotrade and 16 other winners selected from 103 entrants were invited to exhibit their technology solutions and take part in the event.
TechChallenge was administered by the Deloitte Asia Pacific Blockchain Lab and supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Institute of Finance (IIF), the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the Wolfsberg Group.
Planning for TechChallenge started when a survey by the HKMA conducted among 120 banks revealed that 70% of respondents believed that the needs of global finance were not being adequately addressed. This finding matched ADB (Asian Development Bank) figures showing that the gap in global trade finance remains around USD 1.5 trillion. Based on these findings BISIH and the HKMA invited global innovators to participate in this new competition.
Velotrade’s online platform matches the need for trade finance among Asian SME exporters with institutional investors who hold excess liquidity. With a fee-based model that supports recurring transactions and careful risk management, the company has a scalable economic model that is already in operating across international markets. The company’s platform is developed in-house and features a high level of end-to-end automation and scalability. A user-friendly interface enables quick and easy interaction via a desktop or mobile device.
On receiving the top TechChallenge award, Velotrade’s chairman and co-founder, Vittorio De Angelis said: “We are extremely proud that our company has been recognised for such a prestigious award established by BISIH and HKMA. I believe that the TechChallenge prize is a valuable recognition for the work of the Velotrade team in applying the latest technology to digitise trade finance and benefit SMEs in many markets around the world.”
In addition to Velotrade Management Ltd, amongst the other companies that won recognition in the challenge are: HashKey Group, Linklogis International Company Ltd., PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting Hong Kong Ltd., Refinitiv Hong Kong Ltd., Standard Chartered and University of Hong Kong-SCF FinTech Academy and WeBank Co., Ltd.
Solutions were judged by a panel comprising representatives of the public and private sectors, including experts from the partnering organisations listed above and leading global TradeTech platforms.
“We believe that the winning proposals, when further developed, hold great potential for addressing some long-standing pain points of the global trade finance business,” said Edmund Lau, Senior Executive Director of the HKMA.
“Receiving innovative tech solutions from companies based all over the world shows that technology has significant potential to improve trade finance processes, ranging from very large institutional trade finance to SMEs at the grassroots level,” said Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub.