SINGAPORE-BASED startup DiMuto, which provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for the fruits industry, has closed a deal with Thailand's largest fresh durian exporter and frozen durian producer Queen Frozen Fruit.
For the upcoming durian season, DiMuto will tag, track and trace around four million fresh durians from Thailand to China, Japan and other parts of Asia. Data is encrypted and loaded onto a distributed ledger, enabling Queen and its trade partners to create trade contracts, monitor packing status and confirm product receipts.
The increased transparency helps solve one of the biggest issues faced by the fresh fruits industry – access to traditional bank financing, said DiMuto. The startup has partnered fund management firm Havenport Investments for trade financing.
"Securing funding from banks has always been a challenge in the fresh fruits industry as risk managers cannot see what is happening behind the scenes. Due to the disconnected visibility in the supply chain, the industry is paying a heavy cost for trade disputes, food safety breaches and wastage," said DiMuto's founder and chairman Gary Loh.
Mr Loh is also vice-chairman and non-executive director of SunMoon Food.
Havenport, which manages about S$200 million in assets, has started providing trade financing to Queen. The partnership between Havenport and DiMuto could potentially extend beyond the fresh fruits industry.
Havenport managing partner Patrick Tan said DiMuto's technology helps the firm to quantify and isolate the risks of related trades, allowing it to be in a stronger position to attribute liability.
"This will enable us to confidently provide trade financing to a wider range of quality and profitable businesses, especially those that have traditionally been unable to obtain bank financing. In particular, we focus on businesses that are uncorrelated to the volatility of the broader equity and bond markets," he said.
Beyond durians, DiMuto is set to apply its technology to other produce categories. During its product trials between March and June, DiMuto tagged 1.2 million fruits including durians, apples and avocados for industry players in the US, Thailand, Mexico, Australia and China.