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Supporting American businesses in the global economy: QuantumID Technologies

Second in a series highlighting our American business partners
See the first post on our partner Joshi Technologies

American business, Emerging markets, Small business financing, American small business, Overseas, OPIC, Impact investing, World development, Microfinance, Infrastructure, Investments, Political Risk Insurance, Entrepreneurs, Private sector, Finance, Developing countries, Improving, Investing

American technological innovations have changed the world. But when introducing high-tech innovations into some of the emerging markets most in need of improved technology, these American businesses sometimes need help.

QuantumID Technologies is a Cambridge, Massachusetts business that makes a cloud-based handheld cargo tracking technology to make cargo transport more efficient and affordable. The company was started by a student at MIT’s Sloan School of Business who saw a strong market for this technology in developing markets, where small businesses stood to benefit from a low-cost alternative to shipping cargo. The company had already won multiple business school competitions, but as a young startup introducing its technology in emerging markets, it struggled to obtain financing from traditional banks.

In 2010, OPIC committed a $3 million loan to the young company to help introduce its SmartKargo technology in India. In the six years since, QuantumID has formed partnerships with multiple international air carriers, building a network that supports international freight shipments across multiple regions. OPIC more recently provided another loan to support Quantum in introducing the technology in the Philippines, whose geography of more than 7,000 islands poses significant challenges to travel and cargo transport.

By offering a lower-cost alternative to traditional freight shipments, QuantumID helps many of the small businesses that are so critical to local economies but are often budget-constrained.

QuantumID is also one of a growing number of OPIC partners working to introduce technology in the developing world. In 2016, OPIC committed top multiple new projects in mobile and internet service, data centers, cell towers and other technologies, and the Agency’s overall exposure in the tech sector surpassed $1 billion.

Just as projects that promote food production and energy generation are critical to development, so too are the technology projects that improve connectivity and overall business efficiency. While more and more people in developing countries are living and working in urban areas, limited technology still impairs business and commerce and long-term growth.

“For a small business to expand into emerging markets outside of the U.S. is very challenging,” said QuantumID Founder and CEO Milind Tavshikar. “OPIC’s objective of helping U.S. corporations expand in emerging markets was very much aligned with our objectives.”

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