Blockchain-based oil trading platform Vakt has won the backing of oil giant Saudi Aramco, one of the richest companies in the world.
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, or SAEV, the investment arm of Saudi Aramco, has bought $5 million in new shares, Vakt said in a press release on Tuesday. Even more importantly, Saudi Aramaco’s subsidiary, Aramco Trading Company, intends to become a new user of the Vakt platform in the future. Aramco Trading will bring its own North Sea trading volumes, adding to Vakt’s existing market share.
Saudi Aramco is the world’s biggest oil producer and by far the world’s most profitable company. It’s $25.6 billion initial public offering in December 2019 was reported to be the biggest in history, driving its market capitalization to $2 trillion, eclipsing former leaders like $1.3 trillion Apple.
London-based Vakt, whose mainnet went live in November 2018, specializes in post-trade energy processing. It currently focuses on North Sea’s Brent crude oil grade, a benchmark used to price most of the world’s crude oil.
SAEV joins Vakt’s current shareholder base of 12 investors—all large players in energy and commodities trading. They include majors BP, Equinor, and Shell; independent traders Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria; and the ABN Amro, ING, and Societe Generale banks.
Vakt said it will use the funds to further develop its platform and expand into new markets—particularly Asia.
“The North Sea is just the start for us,” Vakt CEO Etienne Amic said in a statement. “We are now on a path to becoming the backbone of the post-trade processing of physical commodities.”