Auckland, NZ. TradeWindow, the New Zealand-headquartered digital trade ‘super-connector’ has welcomed strategically aligned investor Quayside Holdings Ltd to its group of investors in an over-subscribed capital raise, with NZ$6.4 million of convertible notes issued, against an initial $5 million target.
ASB Bank led the latest capital round, backed by a significant investment from Tauranga-based institutional investor, Quayside Holdings Ltd. Quayside Holdings is a 54.1% owner of the Port of Tauranga, which owns half shares in Northport, Port of Timaru, the new inland port at Ruakura and logistics company Coda – providing a strong connection into the nation’s freight and logistics infrastructure.
The Rae family of Perth (who established Gull in New Zealand and sold it to Caltex Australia), and the Wiltshire family, owners of North Shore-based Wiltshire Property Group, increased their financial stakes in the company. TradeWindow Chief Executive AJ Smith says the capital raise will enable the company to accelerate its push into the digitisation of export trade in Australasia, where it’s the market leader in New Zealand and is making good headway in the Australian market with Australia’s total merchandise exports of $314 billion in 2018 , around five times larger than New Zealand’s total exports of $60 billion in 2019.
Over the course of 2020, TradeWindow has opened new offices in Melbourne and Brisbane and has plans to base members of the senior management team in Sydney from early 2021. Initial stages of entry into the Australian market were disrupted by the extended COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria, however the company has found the Australian Government to be very supportive of increased digitisation of export trade. TradeWindow has also recently signed one of Australia’s largest aquaculture companies as a customer.
“We are very pleased with our progress over the past year. This is both in terms of growing the overall volume of export transactions flowing through our export documentation solution TradeWindow Prodoc and integrated system for issuing Certificates of Origin, but also in progressively migrating the most innovative exporters, particularly in the horticulture and meat sectors, on to our Cube platform which offers the full digital experience,” Mr Smith says.
This year TradeWindow pioneered world firsts in customs-to-customs clearance between New Zealand and Taiwan with a leading horticulture exporter, and is facilitating digital traceability for a premium meat producer exporting to the USA. The company’s systems now facilitate over 120,000 shipments per year to more than 150 countries across a range of sectors including meat, dairy, seafood, horticulture, timber and building products.
Mr Smith says the past year has seen the company further the commercialisation of solutions that fulfil the promises of distributed ledger/blockchain for security and traceability, which have been talked about for a long time.
Anticipating future trade finance functionality on its systems, TradeWindow has been active in forging partnerships in the regional banking and finance sector including with ASB Bank. It has been admitted into SWIFT – the international banking network – and plans to have SWIFT capability on its systems within a year.
In July this year, TradeWindow was accepted as an associate member of the leading alliance for facilitating open cross-border digital trade. It took its place on the influential Pan-Asian E-Commerce Alliance (PAA), alongside 13 other quasi-national representative organisations to create a powerful network of networks; spanning China, much of Asia, South Asia, Northern Europe and Oceania.
“We appreciate the support of investors in our over-subscribed capital raising round. It will accelerate the commercialisation of our digital solutions for exporters and enable us to maintain our leadership position amidst a technological sea change in how exporters manage documentation,” Mr Smith says.