London start-up targets accelerated product innovation to continue transformation of international trading
Perfect Channel, a leader in marketplace transformation technology has secured £2m in funding from its long-term investor Beringea, and new partner UIL Limited, an investment company jointly managed by ICM Limited and ICM Investment Management Limited. Perfect Channel - which has built an auction and trading platform for companies operating marketplaces in commodities and financial assets - will use the funding to support continued sales growth and product development over the coming year, following the appointment of industry veteran Jim Leeds as the company’s new CTO in January 2017.
Working with clients including Global Dairy Trade (GDT), Lloyd’s, and AgriClear, Perfect Channel designs, builds and hosts global, dynamic marketplaces that make it easier for companies to buy and sell a wide range of commodities and assets - ranging from coal, natural gas and oil to agriculture, freight and futures. These marketplaces help businesses reach new customers, optimise pricing and liquidity, and gather real-time insights into the trades on their platforms.
About half of the commodities sector today is affected by irregular supply chain, and therefore not suitable for broker-led bilateral trading. This is something Perfect Channel has addressed through its flagship auction and trading platform, Perfect Exchange. The platform provides a digital exchange, making trading processes more efficient and transparent, and helping producers better handle irregular supply and demand. It also reduces waste by enabling producers to sell to a wide range of buyers rather than just a small number of large players.
In 2016, Perfect Channel and GDT worked together to create ‘GDT Marketplace’ that enabled GDT and their clients to benefit from continuous 24/7*365 trading for dairy products built on Perfect Exchange - a major advancement in Perfect Channel’s product technology. Perfect Channel also had an impressive financial performance, experiencing an increase in recurring revenue of nearly 100 per cent, while growing headcount from 48 to 60.
Phil Bird, CEO at Perfect Channel, said: “2016 was a particularly successful year for us - we delivered solid financial results, made significant strides in advancing our technology through the launch of the GDT Marketplace, and reaffirmed our commitment to innovation by appointing Jim Leeds as our new CTO.
“Jim brings invaluable experience in software development of cross-asset trading and risk management. He has previously led product innovation at Openlink Financial, including its transition to the cloud. He will be pivotal to the continued innovation of our product portfolio and building on the momentum we have created so far. The additional investment from our long-term supporter Beringea, and our latest investor, UIL, will underpin this process and provide a strong foundation for growth in 2017 and beyond.”
Eyal Malinger, Investment Director at Beringea, said: “With half of the commodities sector significantly affected by limitations to traditional, expensive, slow and intermediated trading models, this is clearly an industry ripe for innovation. Perfect Channel’s track record of success with clients across a wide range of sectors, and its impressive growth in revenue and headcount through 2016, mean that we are delighted to extend our investment to support continued product development and expansion. We’re also pleased to welcome UIL as a co-investor, and look forward to working together in the future.”
Duncan Saville, Director, ICM Limited, said: “Perfect Channel’s innovative and dynamic approach to delivering marketplace solutions is a good fit for UIL’s investment portfolio. Its range of auction and trading technologies provides opportunities and answers for many sectors - particularly for the commodities sector. We’ve been impressed by the achievements of the Perfect Channel team so far, and are excited to join their journey for 2017.”