SaaS start-up Tradeshift closes $75 million investment and targets Japan

London and San Francisco-based Tradeshift has raised $75 million of new venture capital investment to drive worldwide expansion.

Singapore investor Scentan Ventures has joined the pool of backers at Tradeshift, as the business services software company looks to grow its customer base.

The five year-old company has new raised $112 million (£67 million) from venture capital investors, with its first fundraising dating back to May 2011 when British investor Notion Capital led a $7 million deal.

Since then, the tech start-up has gone on to close a $17 million transaction in October 2011 and $15 million commitment in December 2013.

From its platform, businesses can manage processes such as invoicing, payments and workflow – with its product reportedly applicable for both micro and corporate-size businesses.

According to a statement, the $75 million of new funding will first ignite expansion into Japan, where Tradeshift will open a Tokyo office, using Scentan’s expertise in the country. As part of the deal, Scentan Ventures managing director Noriaki Okubo will be joining the Tradeshift board.

Christian Lanng, CEO and co-founder of Tradeshift, says, ‘We’ve spent a lot of time determining who the best partner would be to move Tradeshift to the next level, not just with regard to our funding, but also our global expansion strategy.

‘Scentan Ventures has a clear understanding of our vision, and is aligned with our ambition to connect every business on the planet on one shared platform. Couple this with Japan’s appetite for change and innovation, and their ranking as the world’s third largest economy, and the decision was made easy.’

More on Tradeshift:

On the back of its 2011 fundraisings, Tradeshift launched its own App Store which offered a range of ‘business-friendly’ applications. These include e-invoicing platforms for smaller companies as well as online accounting.

Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Lanng says that partnering with experienced Asian investor Scentan Ventures follows on from other similar moves the business has made.

It’s first two fundraisings, in 2011, were led by experienced British software-as-a-service venture capital firm Notion Capital – set up by many of the founding team at MessageLabs. When Tradeshift decided that US expansion was on the cards it closed a $15 million round led by Intuit, one of the ‘strongest partners’ when it comes to SaaS in America, Lanng says.

Scentan’s Okubo says, ‘Tradeshift’s approach to solving the problems facing global trade is visionary and inspiring. This is just what Scentan Ventures looks for in our partners, and more importantly, is the type of innovation the Japanese market needs.

‘The fact that a successful business model in one country cannot simply be replicated in another is a realisation too often overlooked and Tradeshift understands that.’

To read our wider feature on Tradeshift and Christian Lanng where the entrepreneur discusses spending the $75 million he has just raised, click here.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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