Banking News

CRIF integrates, invests in trade finance blockchain we.trade

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Today blockchain trade finance firm we.trade announced that it will integrate with Italy’s CRIF Skyminder services, and CRIF will become a shareholder alongside existing investors IBM and twelve banks.

CRIF provides credit and financial information on more than 230 million companies globally and is one of the leading providers of bank credit information in Europe, which is we.trade’s initial target geography. CRIF had revenues of €557 million ($674m) in 2019. The firm is privately owned with a 10% stake held by outsiders, including three banks, BNL-BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Banco BPM SPA.

“CRIF’s market leading business information and ratings services perfectly complement we. trade’s vision to make it easier for buyers and sellers to trade goods and services,” said Omer Ahsan, Chairman of we.trade.

The we.trade offering is available to companies of all sizes but was initially targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe. In the first instance, the primary business model is invoice financing and bank payment undertaking, but it also offers automated settlement in some jurisdictions.

We.trade had planned to raise more funding last year, but COVID-19 caused disruptions. IBM, the company’s original technology partner, invested in May 2020. There was considerable uncertainty around that time because of the pandemic, which meant other planned investment was delayed and by June we.trade laid off some staff.

On the other hand, the ongoing pandemic provides a massive opportunity for we.trade, especially as it has low integration requirements for companies to adopt the solution.