Future of Finance


Imagine there’s no paper in world trade – it’s easy if you try Tradeshift

Imagine there’s no paper in world trade – it’s easy if you try Tradeshift

Trade documentation and trade finance are notoriously fragmented, manual and poorly digitised. So it is not surprising that Tradeshift, a San Francisco headquartered supply chain digitisation company, has expanded rapidly since its origins in Copenhagen in 2010. As it solved one set of data flows it grew naturally into the adjacent areas and is now a multi-faceted provider of a B2B marketplace, a transaction management platform, and a provider of both payments services and financing. Its ambition is to encompass companies of all sizes, everywhere, bringing all the work of the world on to an efficiently connected digital network. Dominic Hobson spoke to co-founder Gert Sylvest about the inspirational effects of blockchain on the shape of the business and the blurring of the lines between flows of data and flows of value.

Questions that are being asked

1. What is Tradeshift? Anyone visiting your website would wonder if you are a B2B marketplace (find customers) or a network (ditto) or a transaction management platform (visibility into orders, payments, receipts) or a payments platform (pay and get paid faster) or even a financing platform (invoice factoring)? 

2. Who do you find yourselves competing with?

3. Trade finance is notoriously fragmented, manual and under-digitalised. What have you achieved since the company was founded in 2010?

4. What are the problems Tradeshift is addressing now?

5. What are you doing that is different?

6. You have explored the use of blockchain, AI and machine learning and Internet of Things technologies-  what are you applying them to?

7. How important is data to the services you provide?

8. Digitisation of supply chains is your core business. A lot of companies think digitisation means Cloud and RPA. Should companies actually be re-thinking the process from the ground up? 

9. You publish an Index of Global Trade Health. What is it telling us about the pandemic-affected global economy?

10. The Pandemic has created liquidity issues: it’s harder to get paid. How can you help?

11. Correspondent banks are exiting trade finance. Is that an opportunity for you?