Joint venture to launch Olea, a digital blockchain-enabled trade finance platform
Standard Chartered, a leading international banking group, and Linklogis, a leading supply chain finance technology solution provider in China, announced a joint venture to establish Olea, a fully-digitised trade finance origination and distribution platform that aims to bring together institutional investors seeking opportunities in an alternative asset class with businesses requiring supply chain financing, subject to regulatory approval.
Headquartered in Singapore, Olea will be headed by Amelia Ng (SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech and ventures unit of Standard Chartered) as CEO and Letitia Chau (Vice Chairperson and Chief Risk Officer of Linklogis) as deputy CEO.
Olea’s rigorous risk analytics and secure platform offers investors access to investment options for returns that align with their risk profiles. It provides a radically transparent, speedier and hassle-free way to access working capital for supply chain participants regardless of size.
Ng said: “By marrying Standard Chartered’s international trade and risk management expertise and unparalleled knowledge of Asia, Africa and the Middle East with Linklogis’ innovations in supply chain technology, Olea is uniquely positioned to reinvent trade finance and be a force for good. Olea aims to disrupt today’s trade finance model by matching suppliers’ financing needs with alternative liquidity from investors seeking a compelling asset class linked to the real economy.”
Chau added: “Standard Chartered is not only one of Linklogis’ institutional shareholders, but also an important strategic partner. Since 2019, Standard Chartered and Linklogis have accomplished many projects together. The new joint venture, Olea, offers an agile and robust platform, using blockchain and AI technology to drive exceptional efficiency and transparency for suppliers seeking affordable and convenient financing.”
Investors gain access to a full range of trade finance assets globally – and particularly in Asia – with credible insights on asset quality, while supply chains partners can access financing via transparent and frictionless processes.
Charles Song, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Linklogis said: “The advent and application of emerging technologies have become an important driving force for the global economic transformation, and new technologies are being implemented in many fields such as trade finance and supply chain finance. Linklogis, as China’s largest technology solution provider for supply chain finance, can bring its top-notch operating experiences and industry-leading technologies into Olea. We believe that the joint effort between the two firms can take the lead in operating a flexible, sustainable and scalable supply chain financing business proposition.”
Alex Manson, who heads SC Ventures, said: “Trade, and accordingly trade financing, are essential for sustainable economic growth, even more so as businesses emerge from the pandemic and lockdowns. Olea brings together the strengths of Linklogis and Standard Chartered in this space and represents the next generation of supply chain financing, providing transparency and risk assessment of trade assets while fulfilling institutional demand for alternative investments.”
Standard Chartered and Linklogis’ relationship began in February 2019 when both companies signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the co-creation of innovation solutions that will support the supply chain finance ecosystem. They completed their first joint deep-tier supply chain financing transaction in August 2019, and have successfully executed several other award-winning1 transactions to date. In January 2020, Standard Chartered announced a strategic investment into Linklogis, which marked its first investment in a supply chain platform in China.
1Standard Chartered and Linklogis won the 2019 Asia’s Best Treasury and Finance Strategies Awards by Corporate Treasurer. Their joint project – “New Economy Solution” – also won The Asset Triple A Awards in 2020.