Press Release – FinComEco launches in Africa to facilitate smallholder farmers

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Delivering an integrated Financial & Commodities Ecosystem efficiently linking supply to demand

Mauritius, London, 24 April 2017. FinComEco, a fully integrated Financial & Commodities Ecosystem launches today providing services, financing, capacity building and enablement solutions. The ecosystem will drive improvements in food security, economic diversity and financial inclusion through a socially responsible commercial delivery partnership. The goal is a sustainable and increasing improvement in the sophistication and living standards of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries brought about by a venture, which links agriculture to the latest financial technology. It will initially focus on Africa.

“Creating markets, developing infrastructure and providing financing for farmers are key ingredients for transforming agriculture in Africa. These factors were necessary for transforming agriculture into a wealth-creating sector, generating income opportunities for farmers in rural areas .” – The African Development Bank

Rt. Hon Mark Simmonds, Chairman of FinComEco, former UK Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention, comments, “It is important to recognise each African country is unique with individual economic, political and social drivers.” He added “With FinComEco I believe we have a detailed strategy to support, improve and facilitate the full agricultural value chain improving lives, creating jobs and alleviating poverty.”

FinComEco will encourage growth by connecting the farmer with the exchange, financial infrastructure and national economy. This supply to demand chain also includes small-scale traders, brokers, storage, transportation, shipping, banks and buyers including multinationals. This will enable smallholder farmers to get a better price for their produce, and provide opportunities for further income growth, opening alternative added-value opportunities including e-commerce enabled enterprise.

FinComEco has already successfully proven this concept in Malawi at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) through the GMEX Group. During 2016 substantial benefits were delivered to smallholder farmers with an average 31% increase in income from use of warehouse receipts and better price transparency with 47,000 registered to receive the latest market prices on their mobile phones.

FinComEco will either establish or reinvigorate local commodity exchanges underpinned by trading technology, electronic warehouse receipts and a complete mobile banking solution. It will also enable trade across multiple regions and deliver a holistic secure cloud-enabled financial agri-ecosystem in partnership with development organisations, governments, research bodies and the private sector.

Hirander Misra, Founder and Deputy Chairman of FinComEco and CEO of GMEX Group commented, “The aim of FinComEco is to match exchange trading capability, including derivatives, to physical growers. Also to add value through enabling manufacturing, support services and delivery contributing to additional local employment.” He added, “The initiative will allow smallholder farmers to thrive, enabled by best of breed technology, standards and inputs (including seeds, fertilisers and pesticides). This is coupled with a unique Agri-finance business model to solve credit and financing issues underpinned by improvements in logistics and warehousing.”

Steve Round, Director of FinComEco, CEO at Saescada and Chair at The Big Issue Foundation and Ecology Building Society commented, “There are massive financial inclusion and food security issues across the developing world with not enough being done in a cohesive fashion to address some of them,” he added, “I am delighted that our mobile electronic banking and payments system can add real value, in this unique integrated solution, to many millions of farmers delivering against many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

FinComEco is currently being syndicated out to strategic investors. Additional announcements on this and further Board and Management appointments will be made in due course.


Media Contact:
Melanie Budden
The Realization Group
+44 (0)7974 937 970

About FincomEco

FinComEco, the financial and commodities ecosystem is fostering financial inclusion with social responsibility in collaboration with local stake-holders, development organisations, governments and the private sector with the aim of improving food security and economic diversity.

The new electronic commodities exchange solution is establishing and reinvigorating local spot exchanges and enabling trade across multiple regions with a focus on the agricultural sector to create a holistic secure financial system.

It will include:

  • Price discovery and transparency
  • Electronic warehouse receipts
  • Risk management and hedging
  • Integrated Electronic banking and payments platform
  • Capacity building and education
  • Operational and technology consultancy
  • Working with trusted local partners

Operational objectives include:

  • Maximising the earnings potential for smallholder farmers
  • Supporting smallholder farmers to thrive enabled with best of breed-of-technology and inputs (including seeds, fertilisers and pesticides), coupled with a unique Agri-finance business model to solve credit and financing issues.
  • Leveraging as well as enhancing current logistics, warehousing and standards to establish a fully vitalised agricultural ecosystem efficiently linking supply to demand.
  • FinComEco has proven its concept in Malawi at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) through GMEX Group and is establishing fully regulated market places in other African countries and South-East Asia.

Current shareholders include GMEX Group Limited, Saescada Limited and Houghton Street Capital Limited as well as individuals.

For more information visit

About GMEX Group

GMEX Group is a set of companies that offer sustainable and innovative solutions for a new era of global financial markets. Providing business expertise, the latest technology, connectivity & operational excellence delivered through an aligned partnership driven approach. We use our extensive market infrastructure experience and expertise to create an appropriate strategic master plan with exchanges, clearing houses, depositories, registries and warehouse receipt platforms.

Our key business solutions enable the creation and operation of cost effective electronic exchanges and post trade infrastructure in multiple asset classes including equities, debt, FX, derivatives and commodities. We operate in both developing and developed markets through the establishment of cohesive business and technology ecosystems. GMEX offers the added benefit of interconnection to multiple partner exchanges, to create global networks of liquidity.

For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @GMEX_Group

About Saescada Limited

Saescada is a UK based banking platform business established in 2014. “Parlez!” is the current low cost cloud based retail banking platform offering full current and checking account functionality built on a micro-services architecture that can be white labeled.

Key features include:

  • Accounts which tie into any local banking infrastructure;
  • Brandable native smart phone apps (iOS and Android);
  • Online and offline KYC processes which can integrate with local identity databases;
  • BACS integration handling direct debits and BACS credits;
  • SEPA integration handling direct debits and outbound payments, with international payments routed via IBAN;
  • Mobile wallet and retail loyalty club integations;
  • Transactional billing engine and bull payments interface; and
  • Full end user communication in email, SMS and mobile notifications.

For more information visit

About Houghton Street Capital Limited

Houghton Street Capital (HSC) is an international corporate finance advisor based in London.

We offer a complete range of advisory services to small and medium sized enterprises, individuals and institutional investors, and focus on UK and international deals up to £250 million in value across a wide range of sectors.

The HSC team provides hands-on advice to businesses and investors across a range of sectors on a global basis. With international M&A capability, our team is committed to providing our clients with the best possible solution.

Geographically the HSC team have worked in the UK, Europe, India, East & Southern Africa and the Asia Pacific Region, and collectively have almost 70 years of experience across corporate finance, M&A, asset management, private equity, legal services and general management.

About Rt Honourable Mark Simmonds – Chairman. FinComEco

Rt Hon Mark Simmonds was until recently The Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for 14 years.

He focussed on driving and facilitating inward investment into Africa across a range of key economic sectors including Hydrocarbons, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Energy & Agriculture. He has an immense knowledge of the economic and political composition of African Governments, countries and regions and he Chaired the UN Security Council on two occasions.

He now has a number of International roles including senior consultant to Kroll, Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth enterprise & Investment Council & Chairman of the advisory Board of the Global Investment platform ‘Invest Africa’. Senior Advisor to Farallon Capital, Non-Executive Director of African Potash. Chairman of the Counter-Extremist Project (UK).

He also has roles with not for profit organisations, including as Honorary Vice President of Flora & Fauna International. He is a Trustee of the British Institute in East Africa. He is a Member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council.

About Hirander Misra – Deputy Chairman & Founder, FinComEco

Hirander Misra is also Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of GMEX Group, which is a set of companies that offer sustainable and innovative solutions for the new era of global financial markets through an aligned partnership driven approach with exchanges, clearing houses and central securities depositories. This involves the creation and operation of electronic exchanges and post trade infrastructure in equities, debt, FX, derivatives and commodities in both developing and developed markets through the establishment of a cohesive business and technology ecosystem. Previously, he was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Chi-X Europe Limited, instrumental in taking the company from concept to successful launch. At the time of his departure in February 2010, Chi-X Europe was the second largest equities trading venue in Europe, just behind the LSE Group and was subsequently sold to BATS Global Markets in November 2011 for US$365m.

About Steve Round – Director, FinComEco

Steve is CEO of electronic banking solutions provider Saescada bringing the first challenger banking platform to market in 2015 .He has a wealth of experience in Financial Services both in the UK and Internationally. He founded the innovative Change Account, is Chair at Ecology Building Society and also Chair at The Big Issue Foundation.

Previously Steve has been Marketing Director at Unity Trust Bank and has advised companies as wide ranging as MasterCard, GE Money and Charity Bank. He has worked and headed projects in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia and South Africa working on range of projects including Community Banking, International Remittances and Loyalty Programmes.