As cross-border and supply chain activity heats up around the globe and firms look ever farther afield for sources, supply and sales, data becomes global too.
In one announcement highlighting the increasingly global nature of digital and financial data and business, Tradeshift said it had acquired IBX Business Network from Capgemini. The transaction, said the firms, represented an expansion of a relationship already in place. The announcement focused on source-to-pay and supplier platform activities. The terms of the deal, which are slated to close next month, remained unquantified at the time of the announcement earlier in March.
The combination of Tradeshift and IBX, they said in a release detailing the transaction, would give rise to the largest business commerce platform globally, with connections between 1.5 million businesses (acting as suppliers) serving 500 global enterprise customers using supply chain applications. IBX has been billed as a creator of one of the largest European B2B networks.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng said that transacted value is likely to top roughly $500 billion through the next year, and that the deal came about as both firms remained “eager to develop next generation capabilities” for cross-border and supply chain activities as they migrated to the cloud and data flow became increasingly important.
Key to that embrace, he said, is accessibility by third party developers (growing in double digit percentages quarter over quarter), which allows flexibility in meeting the needs of businesses as they evolve and expand in size and scope. The single-source platform, working with an open API architecture, can also deploy apps across the whole supply chain.
“This adds compatibility” across activities, Lanng told PYMNTs, “without firms having to build [platforms] themselves.” Within the payments arena, the executive said, the adoption of Tradeshift’s expanded offerings promoted what he termed “a universal monitor” to make sure there was full compliance among supply chain actors in at least 50 countries, ranging from anti-money laundering activities to know-your-customer initiatives — important to consider as firms move toward initiating and, in other cases, expanding business and supply chains in emerging markets.
The apps, with financial partners such as HSBC and Citibank, can help increase interest in, and utilization of, supply chain financing, which has been noted as an $180 billion market. Lanng said the acquisition would boost the stock, keeping unit count to about 30 million SKUs across marketplace and procurement solutions.
Connecting buyers and suppliers across cloud-based private and public markets, the combined entity will leverage software as a service to embrace activities ranging from eInvoicing to accounts payable automation, among others.