Bolero originated from a European Union funded research initiative tasked with establishing a global cross-industry solution to enable the dematerialisation of cross border trade processes.
In 1995 the Bolero Association was created, quickly gaining momentum with bank, corporate and logistics membership across Europe, USA and Asia.
This early initiative resulted in the Bolero “concept” incorporating a central “registry” for all trade related documents of title together with a draft legal agreement which would ensure that any documents sent over Bolero would have the same legal meaning as the paper document it replaced, irrespective of legal jurisdiction.
The substantial interest in commercialising this concept with broad global support was realised in 1996 with the agreement by SWIFT (the bank owned co-operative specialising in secure inter-bank messaging) and TT Club (the international transport and logistics industry’s leading provider of insurance and related risk management services) to create a joint venture company to build, market and support the Bolero infrastructure.
The resulting joint venture company, Bolero International Limited, was incorporated in 1998.
The initial Bolero infrastructure consisted of a Core Messaging Platform built by SWIFT to meet the functional specification defined by the new Bolero entity, a Title Registry, enabling the fully electronic transfer of title, built under contract to Bolero and the Bolero Rulebook, a unique multi-party legal agreement.
The Bolero service went fully live in 1999, operated and supported by SWIFT under a 10 year operating agreement established as part of the terms of the joint venture.
In 2000, additional funds were raised from the venture capital markets through a funding round led by Apax Partners and Baring Private Equity Asia.
In the period from 1998 to 2002, the Company was successful in creating widespread awareness of the Bolero service, establishing a number of proof points through live operation in a variety of substantial trade chains.
In 2003 a new leadership team was recruited to fully commercialise the Bolero service building on the substantive early market efforts of the original Bolero management team.
Working in conjunction with a number of global driver corporates and their core partner banks, the Bolero service was enhanced to include a number of additional value-added services and targeted specifically on the trade finance related processes between Corporates, Commodity Traders and their Banks.
To enable corporate customers and banks to be able to speedily adopt the Bolero service to enable multi-bank trade finance automation, priority was given to the provision of “out-of-the-box” multi-bank trade finance applications (solutions) for corporates and ease of inter-operability for banks and other trade participants. Key to this objective was for the Bolero messaging platform to be able to support a range of industry solutions deployed either as traditional software installations or as web-hosted services.
In 2005 Bolero began to deliver a comprehensive suite of multi-bank trade finance applications built directly on the proven Bolero messaging infrastructure. These applications were designed and built specifically as web-based single-instance solutions delivered as a service (Software as a Service, or “SaaS”), enabling ease of use with no infrastructure investment.
During 2010, the operation of the Bolero services was successfully transitioned from SWIFT to a leading-edge commercial hosting facility in dual mirrored data-centres enabling high availability, full disaster recovery, added scalability and performance, and full SSAE 16 compliance.
Today, Bolero is the leading provider of Multi-Bank Trade Finance services through global adoption of its unique multi-bank messaging channel and support of a range of corporate solution options including the Bolero SaaS applications, third party trade finance applications and corporates’ in-house developed applications.