Bolero.net gets finance

bolero.net expects that the $50 million in private equity financing received should take it to profitablity in the first quarter of 2002.
bolero.net has completed a $50 million private equity financing placement. Apax Partners Europe IV fund is the lead investor, ploughing $30 million into the international online trade facilitator in September. Baring Asia Private Equity Fund II (Baring Funds) has invested $15 million, and Jean Eric Salata, managing partner of Baring Private Equity Partners (HK) Limited will join the board of bolero.net. The remaining $5 million comes from Palio Portfolio Ltd.

"The completion of this funding round means we are now in a position to accelerate the rate at which we reach out into new markets and enhance our service offering…We will also be ramping up our expansion in key vertical industry sectors, as well as building bolero.net as the defacto "back end" infrastructure for B2B exchanges," says bolero.net chief executive Barry Morse.

Specifically, the company is looking to use the funds to develop new initiatives such as services for companies looking to outsource their trade documentation, and developing a tool to be used by importers and exporters and financial institutions to settle and provide credit for trade transactions. Furthermore, bolero.net is looking to increase staff numbers globally, mainly to deal with the installation of bolero.net. Company spokesperson, Peter Scott expects that the recent funding will see bolero.net through to profitability. The company anticipates that first profits to arise in the first quarter of 2002.

Bolero.net was created in September 1999 by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and the Through Transport (TT) Club, insurance mutual owned by 5,000 transport operators. The bolero system aims to provide a secure electronic transmission of business data and documents along the entire trade chain from front-end order processing management to backend trade document exchange. At the heart of bolero.net is a title registry and rulebook, which seeks to enable the transfer of title of goods in the trade process, online. bolero.net is working with over 35 other partners, including Sun Microsystems, AMS and Mercator.

So far bolero.net has signed up fifty banks, container companies, trading houses and B2B exchanges.