Saudi Aramco has made a $5 million investment in blockchain trade platform Vakt

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) now joins 11 other investors in Vakt. The oil giant also intends to become a user of the Vakt platform via another subsidiary, Aramco Trading Company, according to press release on January 28.

An Aramco employee rings the Tadawul exchange’s opening bell to begin trading of the Saudi oil firm’s shares at  Saudi Aramco’s IPO ( AP ).

SAEV joins VAKT’s current shareholder base of 12 investors, all among the world’s largest players in energy and commodities trading. The investment will help VAKT with further development of the platform and expansion into new markets – particularly into Asia.

SAEV parent firm Saudi Aramco has the second-biggest daily oil production and the second-largest proven oil reserves globally. Its $25.6 billion IPO in 2019 was reported to be the world’s biggest to date.

Richard James, VAKT CFO, commented: “It is a proud moment to be able to count SAEV as one of our shareholders. This company – part of the most profitable business in the world – has a strong track record of investing in industry innovation. We were not proactively seeking further investors; however, we could not miss the chance to bring on-board a partner of this calibre, which is a tremendous show of faith in VAKT’s vision.”

Etienne Amic, VAKT CEO added: “The North Sea is just the start for us. In a few short months, we have learned a great deal from having the platform in production and iterating our product to make it better suited for global waterborne oil. We are now on a path to becoming the backbone of the post-trade processing of physical commodities. We couldn’t ask for a better partner ahead of our future expansion than Saudi Aramco – especially when it comes to the company’s reach and expertise in Asia.”

Vakt is already active in the North Sea crude oil market. The new deal will see Aramco Trading bring its own North Sea trading volumes to the platform, according to the release.

The blockchain-enabled firm said the new investment will assist continued development of its platform, as well as expansion into new markets – with a particular focus on Asia.

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