Posted on Friday, Dec 7th 2018
According to a recent report, the global supply chain management (SCM) market size is expected to have grown 14% to $12.2 billion in 2017. The market is dominated by SAP which accounts for nearly 27% of the market share, followed by Oracle with 14% share. The growth in the industry will continue to be driven by organizations wanting to adopt cloud-based SCM offerings. Tradeshift is one such cloud offering that has recently joined to the Billion Dollar Unicorn club.
San Francisco-based Tradeshift was founded in 2009 by Christian Lanng, Gert Sylvest, and Mikkel Brun. The three founders had always been entrepreneurs. Lanng had sold his first company for $1 million when he was just 19. Mikkel had co-founded a Product Information Management and publishing company in his first year at the university. Gert was one of the first members of Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft.
In 2005, the trio met each other when they were asked by the Danish National IT & Telecom Agency to create an e-invoice network. Together they built EasyTrade, an open-source trade platform that is still used by a majority of Dutch businesses. For the next three years, the founders worked together to try to address their core vision – to offer a service that could connect businesses of the world. By 2010, the first version of Tradeshift was released.
Today, Tradeshift has become a social network for connecting supply chains. It offers enterprise and seller cloud-based solutions to improve processes like invoicing, workflow, and supplier financing. For enterprises, it provides three key services – Tradeshift Pay that automates the end-to-end process of invoicing and Accounts Payables, Tradeshift Buy that automates the procurement process, and Tradeshift Go that enables employees to purchase using a credit card within the controls of a procurement system.
It also offers specific seller focused services such as access to a “Seller Club” that offers access to cheaper capital and bigger markets, and above all, an easy to use invoicing service. It boasts of connecting over 1.5 billion business globally and has a client list that includes names like KLM, HSBC, and Societe Generale.
Tradeshift is privately held and does not disclose its financials. Reports published last year did reveal that the company had crossed $80 million in annual revenue runrate and was looking to cross the $100 million mark this year.
It has raised $432 million in funding from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., PSP Investments, HSBC Holdings Plc, Gray Swan, H14, American Express Ventures, Notion, GP Bullhound, CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, and Santander Investments. Its last funding round was held in May this year when it raised $250 million at a $1.1 billion valuation. The round was led by Goldman Sachs and PSP Investments. An earlier round held in June 2016 had valued the company at $600 million.
Tradeshift plans to use the latest funds to invest in market expansion and technology development. It is hoping to list in the next two years and believes that the current funding round will help cover for this period. Last year, there was speculation that Salesforce could look at acquiring Tradeshift, but Tradeshift’s management has maintained that they have no intention of selling.
Besides the larger players like SAP and Oracle, there are several other smaller players like Taulia who are offering similar services like Tradeshift. I would like to know from users about the gaps that they see missing from their existing SCM and invoicing service providers? What is the one key element in their service that would make your SCM process simpler?
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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