Blockchain startup XinFin is bringing buyers, suppliers and financiers together on a peer-to-peer platformSohini Mitter
The Singapore-headquartered startup aims $100 million in transaction volumes in 2018-19 on its Blockchain-led trade finance platform. It says banking and supply chain will drive Blockchain adoption in India.
At a glance
Founders: Karan Bharadwaj, Atul Khekade
Founded in: 2017
Based out of: Singapore/Mumbai
Services: Blockchain solutions
Sector: Fintech and trade finance
Funding raised: Undisclosed
Blockchain is being touted as the next wave in tech that will disrupt industries, especially banking, finance, and capital markets. The buzz around Blockchain has been significant in the past one year with traders, financiers, suppliers and governments looking at ways to implement the technology to improve efficiencies, remove intermediaries and increase transparencies in their systems.
Blockchain was recently acknowledged in the finance minister’s Budget speech too. The Indian government, he said, is keen to collaborate with Blockchain solutions providers. XinFin steps in right there.
This Blockchain technology startup aims to bridge the trade and finance deficit by developing hybrid Blockchain solutions for clients across industries viz. banking, finance, human resources, aviation, supply chain, IT services, etc.
In addition, XinFin operates TradeFinex — a peer-to-peer marketplace Blockchain platform for industries, government bodies, trade unions, and professionals. More than 450,000 members of ASSOCHAM are said to be using it already. XinFin is also in talks with several Indian state governments for potential collaborations.
XinFin was co-founded in 2017 by Atul Khekade (who’s been a Blockchain ecosystem evangelist in India and has conceptualised the first permissioned Blockchain system for a consortium of Indian banks) and Karan Bhardwaj (who’s founded a Blockchain consultancy, linkDapps, and has also developed ledgers for global giants such as IBM, Fidelity, etc).
While XinFin’s development offices are situated in Mumbai, the firm is registered and headquartered in Singapore, where the regulatory environment is more favourable.
Karan Bharadwaj, Co-founder and CTO of XinFin, tells YourStory: “Market regulators are more proactive there. There’s also a whirlpool of talent available. It’s easier for tax purposes too.”
That is not to say India isn’t doing anything. “Banking and Blockchain are natural bedfellows,” says Karan. “The RBI has set up a research wing for Blockchain. They are very positive about it. The banks are also on board. Even the government has Blockchain committees, so there is an assurance,” he adds.
XinFin offers its hybrid Blockchain tech to financial and other enterprise institutions. These institutions can host their own private data networks securely and make it accessible to appropriate participants while restrict visibility for others.
It has just announced a partnership with IT enterprise giant Ramco Systems to use Blockchain in aviation, logistics, and HR industries. Ramco would be utilising XinFin’s proprietary XDC01 distributed ledger protocol for developing Blockchain solutions for its global enterprise clients. Both firms would be collaborating out of Ramco’s innovation lab in Singapore.
Built on top of XinFin’s hybrid Blockchain protocol XDC01 is TradeFinex. It is essentially a cross-border trade and infrastructure financing platform where suppliers, beneficiaries, and financiers can get together and execute trade and infrastructure projects. There are a number of other dapps (distributed applications) too, that address various industries from supply chain to solar.
XinFin expects $100 million in transaction volumes on its “private/permissioned Blockchain architecture” in 2018-19. These will be spread across industries, but banking and supply chain are likely to be early adopters. Both buyers and suppliers will be able to drive a lot of bottomline benefits with the help of “smart contracts” on the decentralised platform that is TradeFinex.
Beneficiaries can also post financing requests and reach out to global financiers. Karan explains, “There are a chain of intermediaries and middlemen in these sectors. XinFin’s Blockchain can reform these drastically. It will drive more accountability and visibility.”
XinFin says even governments, institutions and communities can raise funds via TradeFinex for public infrastructure projects, etc.
Is India firmly committed to Blockchain then?
Atul Khekade, Co-Founder and Early Investor, XinFin, tells YourStory: “With respect to Blockchain for enterprise, the Indian Blockchain ecosystem is taking cues from East Asian countries such as Japan and Singapore, European countries such as Estonia, Switzerland and Great Britain, and of course, the USA. Generally speaking, the model seems to be ‘wait and watch’.”
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are said to be leading Blockchain adoption in government. Maharashtra is catching up as well. Andhra Pradesh has launched a few pilot projects as well in land records and transportation. A Blockchain startup ecosystem is being developed in the city of Vizag.
XinFin says there is talent in these regions, and there is also government support in the form of land subsidies to set up offices and labs for Blockchain development. Karan says, “There will soon be industry pressure to create high-efficiency products in Blockchain. The pressure will essentially be coming from the government.”
XinFin has raised over $1.5 million through a private sale of utility tokens in July-August 2017. Earlier this month, it held a second round of token sale on Singapore exchanges.
Over a half a dozen proof-of-concepts have been completed on the XinFin network with the funds raised, and the proceeds from the current sale will be used to extend the PoCs into pilot projects with enterprises and institutions across the globe.
The startup is yet to raise VC funding. Karan says, “We’re funded through token sales now.”