Tradeshift was recognized today as one of the top Fintech startups in the world by CB Insights in its fourth annual Fintech 250 awards. We're one of a select group of companies to be singled out as innovators in the Business Lending and Finance space.
Access to working capital has always been at the heart of our founders’ mission to connect every company in the world, creating economic opportunity for all. As the pandemic made clear, supply chain relationships are commonly one-sided, delivering value only to the buyer. Nowhere is that imbalance as evident as when it comes to providing sellers with access to working capital.
Tradeshift already has significant experience in delivering buyer-initiated financing to suppliers. It is now developing and scaling seller-focused financing solutions embedded into the Tradeshift network, providing suppliers with early payment options on the full value of their invoices.
Gert Sylvest, co-founder and VP Network products at Tradeshift spoke to Mike Baliman from the London Fintech podcast recently. He explained the problems inherent in traditional supplier financing methods and how Tradeshift is approaching the problem.
“At any point in time there is around $9 trillion in liquidity sitting on company balance sheets doing nothing” said Gert. “Traditional financing methods cover only 15% of that amount. The financiers that have traditionally operated in this space have lacked insight into the trading relationships between buyers and sellers. Instead they rely on heavily manual processes to assess risk that makes it too expensive to assert the true value of the trade between companies."
Delivering value to buyers and suppliers has been key to Tradeshift’s vision from day one and access to finance is one of the many benefits that Gert and his team are focused on providing to sellers that opt-in to the Tradeshift network.
“Most traditional systems approach digitalization from the perspective of the buyer,” explains Gert. “What’s special about our position is that when we started the company we didn’t create systems for buyers, but instead we created a far more open ecosystem which any business could opt into. Our goal is to ensure that every business has an equal opportunity to participate in the Tradeshift network and derive value from their participation. Helping sellers turn their data into an asset they can use to secure financing is a great example.”
Whenever sellers join Tradeshift they unlock insights into their relationships with buyers. This rich information can be used to help establish the creditworthiness of a far broader range of businesses than has traditionally been possible.
“I think this is really about the future of the financial space,” said Gert. “The secret sauce that companies like Tradeshift have is insight into the trade transactions that traditional banks don’t have.”
Gert is keen to point out that while we have come a long way in a short time, there is still some work to be done to scale its proposition in line with the company's bold vision. Recognition from our peers is a sign that others see how important it is that we succeed.