Doing business internationally has its rewards, with new markets to tap, and top-line growth in the offing. But tracking goods — and payments — as they cross borders can be fraught with challenges.
Grovara offers a B2B platform to streamline global trade for U.S. wellness brands and how they manage import and export activity.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Grovara CEO Peter Groverman said the recent announcement helps “close the loop” on the company’s proprietary technology platform. He said Grovara has a fiduciary duty to guarantee that the firm knows its customers. Due diligence is especially important when conducting business on an international scale. Grovara has built technology to automate, streamline and manage relationships with brands and buyers.
“Stripe’s payment processing portal allows us to seamlessly transact in a trusted ecosystem with speed and security,” he said.
Payment processing is a major element of global trade, along with logistics and compliance, he added.
Looking beyond the company-specific impact of the announcement, Groverman said, B2B on a global stage is especially well served through an online marketplace model. That’s especially true for U.S.-based wellness brands in which the wellness economy has been growing quickly, and only 6 percent of all U.S. manufacturers sell internationally. Grovara has said it can bring brands global in 120 days.
If done without the aid of technology and marketplaces, he said, firms face challenges in trying to export into new markets. The challenges are especially high when food is perishable, and compliance and logistics demand ingredients and shelf life be well-documented.
In an example of how technology can streamline export activity, Groverman said “we have a friend who sells chocolate-covered cherries from Michigan. He got an order from Mexico and shipped a container of chocolate-covered cherries to Mexico. When they opened the container, all the cherries had exploded. So, they shipped another container. Again, all the cherries were exploded. Because the container was going over the Rocky Mountains, elevation caused the cherries to explode. So, for the third order, they had to figure out navigation around the mountains and detouring. There are so many sensitivities with food, it’s not just expiration.”
Using the cherry example on the Grovara platform, the next time something that has cherries is moving across the country to Mexico, that route will be flagged.
“Machine learning will remind us to not get caught in the altitude when shipping cherries,” said Groverman, noting his firm functions as “an international data warehouse.”
The company partners with SPINS, which helps with data across the North American wellness space, and IX ONE, which verifies product information. Over the past decade, Groverman said, Grovara has built relationships with logistics providers, the U.S. government, and most recently Stripe, which have given the firm “total command” of the documentation, payments and invoicing aspects of global trade.
He told PYMNTS that the company is in 45 countries, and it looks to be in 100 in two years.
“Right now Grovara covers natural food, beverage and nutraceuticals,” he said. “We want to expand into pet products, supplements and health and beauty aids. If you can export kombucha, you can export other things. The formulations and algorithms are all the same.”