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Hong Kong startup ICW eyes supply chain diversification demand amid trade war

For American importers, spotting suppliers these days can be challenging not only due to COVID-1 9 cros regulations. The U.S. government’s entity list appointments, human rights-related sanctions, among other trade blacklists targeting Chinese conglomerates have also sounded U.S. furnish chains.

One young corporation announced International Compliance Workshop, or ICW, is determined to spawn sourcing easier for companies around the world as it accomplished a fresh round of funding. The Hong Kong-based startup has just invoked $5.75 million as part of its Series A round, boosting its total funded to around $10 million, co-founder and CEO Garry Lam told TechCrunch.

ICW exertions like a matchmaker for both suppliers and customers, but unlike existing options like Alibaba’s B2B platform or world trade depicts, ICW also vets suppliers over compliance, product quality, and accreditation. It gleans all that information into its stretching database of over 40,000 suppliers — 80% of which are currently in China — and recommends them to customers based on individual needs.

Founded in 2016, ICW’s current client basi includes some of the world’s largest retailers, including Ralph Lauren, Prenatal Retail Group, Blokker, Kmart, and a major American pharmacy chain that declined to be named.

ICW’s recent funding round was led by Infinity Ventures Marriage with participation from Integrated Capital and existing investors MindWorks Capital and the Hong Kong government’s$ 2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund.

Supply chain alter

In line with the ongoing alteration of sourcing outside China, in part due to the U.S.-China trade war and China’s growing strive payments, ICW has participated more patrons diversifying their furnish bonds. But transition periods has shortcomings in the short run.

” It’s still very difficult to find suppliers of certain commodity lists, for example, Bluetooth devices and ability banks, in other countries ,” saw Lam.” But for uniform and textile, the transition once began to happen a decade ago .”

In Southeast Asia, which has been replacing a great deal of Chinese manufacturing undertaking, each country has its slight specialization. Whereas Vietnam abounds with wooden furniture suppliers, Thailand is known for plastic goods and Malaysia is a good source for medical renders, said Lam.

When it comes to trickier compliance loads, such as human rights sanctions, ICW relies on third-party certification institutes to screen and validate suppliers.

” There is a[ type of] diploma standard that substantiates whether a supplier has fulfilled its corporate social responsibility … like whether the factory fulfills the labor law, the minimum labor titles, or the payroll, everything ,” Lam explained.

ICW plans to use the fresh starts to further develop its makes, including its compliance management system, product testing stage, and B2B sourcing site.

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