Tradeshift – a game-changer in e-invoicing (and beyond) or a Danish flash in the pan?

It doesn't happen often that I feature a technology provider before Jason and Spend Matters US have got to them, analysed, and thoroughly dissected them.  But this is one such case.  So I'm afraid this isn't going to be a through, research based piece, but Tradeshift appears to be interesting enough to bring them to readers' attention sooner rather than later.

There's a few reasons for that, which birngs us to the 'game changer' headline.

Tradeshift are a Danish company, only launched early in 2010.  Their intent is to develop a leading, open, web-based purchase to pay platform, built on the open-source UBL (unified business language) so that developers can build apps to work with it.  And to start, they're offering e-invoicing capability free of charge to users, both buyers and sellers.  That's unusual in its own right.  And they talk about 'leveraging the social media space' in a P2P context which sounds impressive;  I think it means that you can link between the two parties to the transaction in a social-media type manner, but I will say more once I've tried it!

Then there is the backing they have; Morten Lund, their Chairman, was one of the founders and early investors in Skype.  He was then declared bankrupt in 2009 after putting all his cash into a new newspaper and publishing venture in Denmark.  Now he's backing a number of new technology and media firms.  (His website / blog is worth a look too...he doesn't post that regularly, but very entertaining and perceptive when he does). Their management team appear to be serious technology and e-commerce people too.

And finally, they have attracted funding support from the likes of Paypal, which we hear valued the company at some 75 million Euros!  Now you might take this as a sign of a new asset bubble forming in front of our eyes; but obviously there's a few people around who think Tradeshift is going to be big.

I'm going to take a closer look at the actual product over the next few weeks. From my brief discussion with the firm, they're targeting both small / medium sized firms plus the 'tail' of invoices that even larger organisations may not want to address through more complex / expensive e-invoicing options (and of course there are other possibilities such as Purchasing Cards in this area).  Clearly, revenue has to come from somewhere, and for Tradeshift that will come from added value services and an 'apps store' approach that they are developing.

Anyway, with this level of backing and a tag-line of 'FREE', it's certainly worth following their progress.  And we'd love to hear comments from anyone who has actually used the product to date...

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  1. Andy Dickens:

    hi Peter

    It is great to see that you have picked up Tradeshift already!

    Virtaul Sales Limited were looking for an on-line provider of e-invoicing solutions last year and stumbled across Tradeshift.

    I have to say that we have saved an enormous amount of time and our monthly invoicing is now a breeze compared to the old way of creating a Word invoice and then saving as a PDF and then emailing it to the client.

    It is very easy to add new clients onto Tradeshift and once set up you can then invoice them and it even knows your next invoice number once you have started so you do not have to keep a seperate record!

    Once you have invoiced a client you can use that as a template for the next month.

    We have also done away with paper copies and totally rely on Tradeshift!

    I would recommend to anyone!

    Kind regards

    Andy Dickens
    Virtual Sales Limited

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