20 April 2021
By Tom Collins
With the pandemic causing disruption within food supply chain systems globally, a Cork based start-up has come to the rescue with an innovative online platform.
Kwayga is a new online B2B supply chain solution for mid-sized businesses in the food supply chain, founded by Martin Fitzgerald and Mike McGrath, and developed with Chris Kennedy, who is a well-known coder of disruptive technology and is widely recognised as an online trust and identity expert. Having joined the market in March 2021, Kwayga empowers buyers and suppliers to securely trade with other businesses anywhere in the world by putting the right buyer with the right supplier at the right time.
In the wake of Covid-19, businesses in the food and drinks supply industry are seeking new solutions to help buyers safely diversify their suppliers; and help suppliers to diversify their markets. Using AI, Kwayga will verify, match and connect international B2B buyers and suppliers, help them establish trust, and communicate in any language through automated translation or video interpreters, breaking down traditional communication barriers; and ultimately enable them to trade successfully.
The innovative company is focused on a disruptive model, with tools built around a business social network which helps businesses keep track of updates and news in their existing supply chain and sector network; and to also increase these networks further.
Mike McGrath, Co-Founder and COO of Kwayga, is a procurement and supply chain expert, with 15 years experience in many sourcing and procurement roles. Mike is also the Founder and CEO of Arvo Procurement whose clients include Lidl, GE, Fexco, Carbery, and Dairygold.
Commenting on findings from the EU Annual Report on European SMEs 2017/ 2018 Survey, Mike said “58% of EU SMEs don’t know where to find information on foreign markets, with 55% unaware of foreign trade opportunities. We are democratising trade by putting the right buyer with the right supplier at the right time, with the right tools to simplify trade. With Kwayga, businesses are able to trust, discover, verify, connect and match, communicate in any language, and trade successfully.”
Martin Fitzgerald, Co-Founder and CEO of Kwayga, brings a wealth of business lending expertise to the operation, having spent over 15 years in Business Banking AIB and KBC, with a focus on business credit validation and transaction finance, as well as cross-sector business development and analysis. He also ran his own business consultancy and advised on scale-up investing.
As companies use the momentum of Covid and Brexit as an opportunity to redesign their supply chain with future resilience in mind, Martin said: “Significant barriers to digital supply, result in lost time and money. At Kwayga, we imagine a world where if a business is great at what it does, it should be easy for it to establish trust and securely trade with other businesses anywhere, in any language, at any time. Empowering buyers and suppliers to do this is our mission.”
Chris Kennedy, CTO of Kwayga, founded Trustev, a leader in e-commerce fraud prevention, in 2012; which he built, scaled and successfully exited to TransUnion in 2015. Talking about Kwayga’s use of secure technology, Chris said “Our tools are designed to create trust within the digital supply chain, reducing costs related to due diligence and failed deals. We are helping businesses to diversify their supply chain with multi-region partners, and at the same time increase their supply chain security.”
The coming months are looking very positive for the start-up, with Martin Fitzgerald adding “’We are about to announce a large pre-seed round which will enable us to accelerate our expansion and add up to 15 jobs over the next 18 months, helping us expand our reach further into international markets and positioning as the leading B2B marketplace.”
Much of Kwayga’s functionality, such as the Deal Centre, Company Profile, Supplier Pipeline Matching, Message Translations and Connections, is free for all registered users; while a premium subscription offers even further functionality.