Funding the next generation of commodities technology.
The question is not if the commodity markets will have to digitize and transform, but rather when and who the winners and losers will be.
“The days of trading by gut instinct are over. In today’s trading environment, transparency is the new norm and “algo” traders are the new gods.”
Technology is changing the world—its impact is ubiquitous and indiscriminate across industries.
The Commodities sector has lagged perilously behind in its transformation to digital—a multi-trillion dollar industry stuck in the analog era.
Tech giants have disrupted entire industries…and are now knocking down the gates of commodity traders.
History has proven time and again that technology trumps tradition, and those that fail to adapt will eventually lose.
Today more so than ever, market incumbents face a choice—innovate or die.
Who We Are
“We are commodities experts first and foremost. Our founders and principals have over 100+ years of combined experience across the sector.”
We are former traders, technologists and investment professionals who have earned our stripes at some of the largest physical commodity trading houses and global investment banks.
We are also entrepreneurs and operators, and understand first-hand the challenges of the young innovative startup trying to break into a conservative industry.
We are not generalist VC investors or just another FinTech fund. We focus exclusively on a sector in which we have built our careers and where we have deep industry contacts.
Ultimately, we are flexible and independent Strategic Partners.
We fundamentally believe, based on decades of first-hand industry experience, that the Commodities sector has started a profound transformation which will require domain-specific innovation and significant venture capital.
We identify solutions that address practical, real-world challenges facing the industry. In addition to funding these technologies, we facilitate their adoption through partnerships with our long-standing industry relationships.
We are an early-stage fund providing pre-seed, seed and Series A capital to world-class startups with a focus on the commodities sector.
“We do not invest in technology for the sake of joining a “revolution” or riding the wave of “disruption”. We invest to effect positive change to an industry we know intimately and to help entrepreneurs develop sustainable business models.”
We focus on 3 core areas by investing in technologies that facilitate the digitization of the industry and promote scalability, flexibility and interoperability.
Data & Analytics
New techniques and smart tools including computer vision, machine-based learning and artificial intelligence that enhance the evaluation, analysis and trading of commodities.
Infrastructure and technologies that enable the automation of the full trade-lifecycle, including electronic execution, post-trade optimization and regulatory & compliance reporting (“RegTech”).
Electronic venues and online marketplaces that replace analog (voice-based) trading and facilitate the optimization of physical assets.
Etienne has over 20 years’ experience in commodities trading. Etienne was previously Head of European Energy of Mercuria Energy Group. Before that, he was a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan and held a number of senior roles in trading, sales and principal investments over a period of 9 years at the bank. Prior to that, Etienne was the Global Head of Commodities at Credit Agricole CIB. Etienne started his career at TOTAL as a power and oil trader.
Etienne is founder of EnAlgo, which develops energy trading technology and Chairman of Vortexa, a leading oil data and analytics provider.
Etienne holds a M. Sc. in Quantum Physics and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Universite Paris Jussieu, a M. Sc. in Financial Markets from Universite Paris Dauphine and a M. Sc. in Engineering from Mines Paris.ParisTech. He is a former student from Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris.
Jose has over 17 years of M&A and strategic investments experience in commodities and investment banking. Jose was previously an Investment Director at Mercuria Energy Trading focusing on strategic transactions and asset M&A. Prior to this Jose spent over 12 years at J.P. Morgan. He began his career at J.P. Morgan in the Global M&A group and also helped establish its Commodities Principal Investments business, focusing on carbon and renewable energy. As part of this role he led the investment in two early-stage data and analytics service providers and their subsequent sale to Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.
Jose holds a BSc in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a joint Executive MBA from Columbia and London Business Schools.
Our unique network of Investment Partners is comprised of highly accomplished senior executives who have all built their careers in the Commodities sector. Our Partners are based in key locations including Houston, New York, London, Geneva and Singapore.
Catherine has over 20 years’ experience in commodities sales and trading. Catherine was previously a Managing Director and the head of Commodities, Foreign Exchange and Local Markets, Americas at BNP Paribas. Before that she held numerous executive roles within J.P. Morgan’s commodities business, including head of Commodities EMEA, Global Head of Commodity Finance, Head of Global Commodities Marketing and Structuring, and co-head of the Energy Trading and Marketing business.
Catherine was nominated as Most Influential Woman in European Investment Banking in 2011 and 2012, winning that award in 2012. She was recognized as one of the 100 most influential women in European Financial Markets (2010 and 2011).
Catherine is currently CEO of Pefin, the world’s first AI Financial Advisor.
Catherine has an MA from Brown University and a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Michael has spent more than 20 years as General Counsel or senior executive at leading global commodities trading and merchant investment firms. Most recently Michael was General Counsel at Castleton Commodities International. Prior to this Michael was Head of Commodities Strategy at J.P. Morgan. Before this he was co-CEO of RBS Sempra Commodities and General Counsel at Sempra Commodities. Michael was also a corporate associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Michael is currently General Counsel at Digital Asset Holding, a financial technology company that builds products based on distributed ledger technology.
Michael has a BA from Bucknell University, an MA from Columbia University, and a JD from Emory University School of Law.