Tradeshift Raises $250 Million From Investors, Claims Unicorn Status

Tradeshift, the supply chain marketplace, payments and P2P firm that many readers will know has become the latest “unicorn” in our sector.

Yesterday, the firm raised $250 million in a “Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). Additional participation comes from HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound, and Gray Swan, a new venture company established by Tradeshift’s founders”.

This brings the total funding to date to more than $400 million. The company claims that its valuation has now passed $1.1 billion and so qualifies for that “unicorn” tag, based on that 10-figure sum.

According to the announcement, “The funding round will be used for core strategic initiatives, including continued global expansion of Tradeshift in Europe and Asia; growth of transacted volume and value across its platform; and strategic investments into emerging technologies, including blockchain and artificial intelligence via its Frontiers division, which was launched in January 2018”.

Tradeshift CEO and Co-Founder Christian Lanng, (pictured here in the gloom some years ago when we met him at ProcureCon), said: “We have always believed that the future of supply chains is 100 percent digital and that connecting trade is just the first step to a digitally connected economy. This investment will enable us to continue our rapid growth and consolidate our leadership position.”

This comes just a week or so after a big product announcement - “Tradeshift Pay”, which “will bring supply-chain payments, supply-chain finance and blockchain-based early payments together into one unified end to end solution”. It has a Blockchain element too; as Lanng explained:

“For the first time, businesses can go to one single wallet to handle all their payments, end-to-end, across all channels. And for the first time, you can do both regular and blockchain-based early payments in one platform in the cloud.”

Going back to the business generally, while some metrics are publicly revealed, the core financial numbers are still somewhat shrouded in secrecy, as is the case with many privately held firms, although presumably the investors get to see them. So we still don’t know what Tradeshift’s revenues look like, let alone profit (or losses).  We would guess that this will be the last fund raise before some sort of crystallization event – a IPO (flotation) or a trade sale -  so at that point we will find out more about the hard numbers. But that might be some time away, as $250 million should last a while!

Despite our occasional disputes with Lanng – usually over Twitter – he joins that very rare class of entrepreneurs in our industry who have created a business of this scale from scratch (rather than by acquisition). He and the team are certainly to be congratulated for that pretty amazing achievement over the last eight years or so.  Tradeshift is no longer the scrappy disruptive upstart we all knew and (sometimes) loved; it is now a 600lb unicorn in its own right!

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Voices (2)

  1. Jason Busch:

    I would slightly disagree “from scratch” … yes, technically, for sure. But to call the IBX acquisition non-material is not fair to those involved from that side of the house.

    1. Final Furlong:

      And let’s not forget the not-so-insignificant $30m on acquiring Merchantry…to provide some PIM functionality….

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