Sumitomo Corporation’s Investment in TradeWaltz; TradeWaltz’s Total Funding Amount Reaches 5.65 billion Japanese yen
TradeWaltz, Inc. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and Representative Director: Hirohisa Kojima; hereinafter “TradeWaltz”), operator of the “TradeWaltz™” trade information collaboration platform, and Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and CEO: Masayuki Hyodo; hereafter, Sumitomo Corporation) have agreed on Sumitomo Corporation’s participation in investment in TradeWaltz, and payment has been completed. In addition to the new investment from Sumitomo Corporation, TradeWaltz received additional investment from its existing shareholder with an additional 1.65 billion Japanese yen, bringing the total amount of capital raised to 5.65 billion Japanese yen.
■TradeWaltz’s Investment Structure and Initiatives to Date
“TradeWaltz™” is an industry-government-academia All Japan startup that has received joint investment from 15 companies, including NTT Data, and government support since its launch in November 2020.
“TradeWaltz™”, the trade information collaboration platform developed and deployed by TradeWaltz, aims to completely digitalize analog trade procedures in Japan and around the world. The platform is based on a blockchain, and has acquired more than 50 paid users as of the end of March 2023. Companies that have linked their APIs (see note below) have reported that the elimination of analog documents has improved operational efficiency by more than 44% in the areas where the system has been introduced, and they are satisfied with the service since it promoted the remote work. In addition, by utilizing the data in “TradeWaltz™” and linking it to other companies’ platforms, the company has successfully conducted the PoC of value-added services such as cargo location tracking and payment in digital currency.
Last year, we established an APAC representative office in Singapore, and as part of the “Indo-Pacific Supply Chain Resilience Project,” we successfully conducted a system connection between trade platforms in 5 countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. In addition, we have promoted TradeWaltz’s expansion to ASEAN through the meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, who was the Chair of ASEAN in 2022. Furthermore, the company is also accelerating its overseas expansion and gains international recognition, as evidenced by its designation in the Minicorn category of a unicorn candidate by an overseas evaluation organization and its selection as one of the world’s top 40 startup companies out of 30,000 startups from around 130 countries at the Entrepreneur World Cup.
In order to accelerate this trend, TradeWaltz has raised an additional 1.65 billion Japanese yen from Sumitomo Corporation and existing shareholder, mainly to strengthen its sales and development structure.
(Note) API collaboration:
API is an abbreviation for Application Programming Interface. API represents a mechanism for calling the functions of one software from another, and refers to the expansion of functions by linking external applications and systems with data through the use of APIs.
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Approach
Sumitomo Corporation is a general trading company that develops global business activities in a wide range of industries. As a general trading company that has led Japan’s trade business, Sumitomo Corporation shares TradeWaltz’s business policy of strengthening Japan’s trading power through digitalization, and aims to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of Japan’s trade business as a whole, not only as a user, but also by participating in the TradeWaltz business itself.
Sumitomo Corporation has been working to strengthen the competitiveness of the Sumitomo Corporation Group by consolidating the trade operations of the Group’s diverse trade businesses into its wholly owned subsidiary, Sumisho Global Logistics Corporation, and accumulating all kinds of knowledge and expertise related to customs clearance and international transportation. By leveraging this in-house strength, Sumitomo Corporation will promote the digitalization of trade conducted by the Sumitomo Corporation Group and contribute to the development of TradeWaltz.
【Comments from stakeholders】
Takashi Yanai,Corporate Officer/General Manager/Logistics Infrastructure Business Div., Sumitomo Corporation
In its mid-term management plan “SHIFT 2023,” Sumitomo Corporation is focusing on “shifting its business portfolio through business transformation by DX (Digital Transformation). TradeWaltz has been steadily realizing and promoting its own business, including the establishment of laws and regulations, based on its strong connections with related ministries and agencies. We see TradeWaltz as a powerful industrial leader, and we have decided to participate in this investment with a strong desire to strengthen Japan’s trading power. We are committed to making “TradeWaltz™”, a trade information collaboration platform, available to as many businesses as possible through our knowledge and expertise in trade practices for a wide variety of commercial products and our global network.
Hirohisa Kojima, President and Representative Director, TradeWaltz, Inc.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Sumitomo Corporation for its new investment in our company. We are aiming for the all-Japan trade DX, and in order to achieve this goal, we would like more participation from the eight general trading companies and major manufacturers. The participation of Sumitomo Corporation in this project has established and accelerated the All Japan concept, and we feel that we now have a structure in place to achieve our goal of globalization. We will continue to strive to create the future of trade.
■About TradeWaltz Inc.
Name: TradeWaltz Inc.
Representative: President & CEO Hirohisa Kojima
Office: KASUMIGASEKI BUILDING 36F WORKSTYLING, 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6036
Established: April 2020
Main Business: Provision of the SaaS*2 of “TradeWaltz™,” a trade-related information-sharing platform using blockchain
Number of Employees: 56 (full-time)
Shareholders: NTT DATA Corporation
Toyota Tsusho Corporation
UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd.
TW Link Corporation
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.
Toyoshima & Co., Ltd.
Kamigumi Co., Ltd.
MITSUI-SOKO HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.
MUFG Bank, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation
Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.
*1 “TradeWaltz™” is a registered trademark of TradeWaltz Inc. in Japan.
Other product names, company names, and organization names are the trademarks or registered trademarks of each company.
*2 Abbreviation of “Software as a Service,” a mechanism by which users can use necessary software functions via the Internet.
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