Supply chain startup Tramés bags seed money to fuel its expansion plans
admin 15-10-2020, 05:11

Trames, a Singapore-based supply chain startup, announced it raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding round led by Singapore family office Kamet Capital Partners.

The fresh capital will be mainly used to develop its blockchain technology, which Trames CEO and co-founder Kevin Lim says will become a core strategic advantage for the company to drive adoption. The rest of the funds will also go toward building the team and further developing its product.

Bringing together a fragmented market

Being one of the most fragmented businesses in the world, the supply chain business involves different parties, from carriers and freight forwarders to custom brokers.

“If you look at the current state of international trade and transportation sector, it has been plagued with a lot of manual processes and a lot of fragmented stakeholders for the workforce,” said Trames CEO and co-founder Kevin Lim in an interview with
Tech in Asia .

One cross-border shipment may involve 20 people with 200 different touchpoints, with emails, paper documents, phone calls, among others. The highly manual paper-based and fragmented ecosystem results in large shipping administrative costs, he explained.

To help address the problem, Lim launched
to bring together players – who traditionally have been working in their own fragmented ecosystem – on a platform where information and documentation can be updated in real-time.

Trames co-founders (from left): chief strategy officer Ivan Seow,CEO Kevin Lim, chief technology officer Alok Rajiv /Photo credit: Trames

Founded in 2019 the end-to-end supply chain orchestration technology startup, aims to create a streamlined and unified workflow for shippers and their logistics partners.

Its key features include a blockchain-enabled document repository to facilitate collaborative drafting and confirmation of shipping documents. Thereby convening stakeholders and other partners onto a single platform, and reduces the physical paperwork. It effectively minimizes the number of manual touchpoints in the supply chain.

Big market

“Increasingly, there has been growing demand for businesses to digitize their supply chains and increase operational efficiency,” said the company.

According to Gartner’s report, at least
half of large global companies
will be using AI, advanced analytics and the internet of things (IoT) in the supply chain operations by 2023.

Lim added that the transportation management system space is around US$22 billion as of today globally. While focusing on the Asian market, it is also targeting users across the globe as it works with large multinational companies.

Lim declined to disclose the price range it charges, but noted that they’re looking at about a 30% improvement in productivity for the shippers, traders and consigners, which is the core metric for the company.

It currently serves around eight organizations, including one multinational corporation. It is also looking to onboard a Japanese conglomerate in Q4 this year.

Expansion on the horizon

With a team of around five, the company plans to scale it ten members in the next couple of weeks.

The latest round of funding comes after the company raised an angel round last year. It is also looking to raise its series A round next year to accelerate its expansion plans into strategic markets across the world.

By 2020 it aims to cover all of the operations in East Asia and Japan for its multinational customers and also strike partnerships with two or three multinational customers. It will also be unveiling a new product to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their operations in Q1 and Q2 next year, Lim disclosed.

The company is co-founded by Lim, chief strategy officer Ivan Seow, as well as chief technology officer Alok Rajiv. Prior to Trames, Seow had over 20 years of experience working with multinational corporations including Unilever and Schneider Electric.

Meanwhile, Lim also co-founded Fresh Turf in 2016 a startup that provides last-mile solutions based on blockchain technology, while Rajiv worked as the chief technology officer there.