Tradeshift Launches Innovation Lab to Bring the Blockchain to Business Commerce

Business commerce platform Tradeshift announced today the launch of Tradeshift Frontiers, an innovation lab and incubator designed to apply emerging technologies like AI, distributed ledgers, and IoT to business networks, supply chains, and global trade.

“Our goal is simple and singular: To significantly impact B2B commerce and global supply chains in the next 5 years,” co-founder and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers Gert Sylvest said. “We will leverage emerging technologies to make trade more inclusive, empowering, transparent, and sustainable.”

Applying blockchain technology to areas such as supply chain financing, asset liquidity, and supply chain transparency is one of the initial goals of Tradeshift Frontiers. In a press release, the company pointed to its role as a governing member with the Hyperledger project as one reason the company will be positioned to make an “industry-wide impact” in terms of using blockchains to “enable new incentive models to collaborate across the supply chain.”

“With Frontiers, we aim to bring the transformative potential of these technologies into the hands of every company in the network, no matter their size or role in the supply chain,” Sylvest said. “That also means unlocking greater value for small businesses and their trading partners to bring them on equal footing with the companies that dominate the digital supply chains today.”

Tradeshift connects more than 1.5 million companies in 190 countries, and is on course to process more than $500 billion in transaction value. The company offers procure-to-pay, supplier engagement, and financial services to its business clients, and enables its partners to leverage its business commerce platform to build their own apps. The company is off to a strong start in 2018: partnering with fellow Finovate alum Infosys to digitize its clients’ supply chain management and, a few weeks later, announcing that Panalpina World Transport had selected Tradeshift to support the digitization of its procure-to-pay process.

Founded in 2010, San Francisco-based Tradeshift demoed Tradeshift Instant Payments at FinovateEurope 2012. With more than $182 million in funding, Tradeshift includes Wipro Ventures, Data Collective, Scentan Ventures, Kite Ventures, ru-Net Holdings, Notion Capital, and PayPal among its investors.