Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has invested $5 million into VAKT, a company utilising blockchain for commodity post-trade processing.
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures joins VAKT's current shareholder base of 12 investors, comprised of international players involved in energy and commodities trading. The investment will help VAKT with further development of the platform and expansion into new markets – particularly into Asia.
As part of the deal Aramco Trading will become a new future user of the platform, which is currently live in the North Sea BFOET crude oil market. The company will bring its own North Sea trading volumes, adding to VAKT's already high market share, and is ready for VAKT's expansion into new markets.
The platform manages physical energy transactions from trade entry to final settlement, eliminating reconciliation and paper-based processes. Built using blockchain technology, it provides a single source of truth for buyers and sellers that is safeguarded with an immutable, distributed audit trail.
Hans Middelthon, managing director of Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, says: 'VAKT has demonstrated that their platform has the potential to digitise what is currently a very manual process and be truly transformative to end users and customers. Leveraging blockchain theory and applying it to the complicated world of post-trade processing, VAKT has made a compelling pitch to become an integral part of market infrastructure. SAEV's mission to develop and deploy technologies into Aramco's operations.'
Etienne Amic, VAKT CEO, adds: 'The North Sea is just the start for us. In a few short months, we have learnt a great deal from having the platform in production and iterating our product to make it better suited for global waterborne oil. We are now on a path to becoming the backbone of the post-trade processing of physical commodities. We couldn't ask for a better partner ahead of our future expansion than Saudi Aramco – especially when it comes to the company's reach and expertise in Asia.'
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