Listen to the full discussion here:
Christian Lanng is CEO, Co-founder, and Chairman at Tradeshift. He started his first technology company at age 19 and was the youngest Head of Division in the Danish Government, National IT and Telecom Agency, where he co-founded and led the Danish Nemhandel Project (EasyTrade), the world’s first open-source peer-to-peer trade platform.
Tradeshift drives supply chain innovation for the digitally connected economy.
They raised 400 mil USD and are evaluated at 1.1 billion. As the leader in supply chain payments and marketplaces, the company helps buyers and suppliers digitize all their trade transactions, collaborate on every process, and connect with any supply chain app. More than 1.5 million companies across 190 countries trust Tradeshift to process over half a trillion USD in transaction value, making it the largest global business network for buying and selling.
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Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- How Tradeshift started in a garage in Denmark
- Connecting 90% of the companies in Denmark through easyTrade
- Going in 100 countries within 6 months
- How Tradeshift differs from its competitors
- “Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint”
- [01:38] At the age of 19 you started easyTrade, a peer to peer trade platform as part of the Danish government. Tell us a little bit about that.
- [02:57] Tell us a little bit about the story of Tradeshift, how you created it and how it evolved.
- [04:36] In a way easyTrade was sort of a pioneer platform. We managed to connect almost 90% of the companies in Denmark to the platform.
- [06:12] Within 6 months of starting Tradeshift it had spread to 100 countries. It was the job of all the amazing sellers who joined the platform and the advice from their customers that made us grew organically out of the box.
- [07:19] Tell us a little bit about your clients and how you help them.
- [9:00] Give us some examples of clients that you’re working with and how you cut their time or any metrics that you saw improved after using Tradeshift.
- [11:56] Today, we serve customers in more than 190 markets from the Tradeshift pay platform and that’s sort of a big problem solver for the CFO because they don’t need to take 50 different tools to solve this problem on a global level right.
- [12:45] How does Tradeshift make money?
- [15:56] I think more than we disrupting technology, we actually have to disrupt the commercial model by keeping it completely free to sellers and making the pricing transparent.
- [18:46] What is the difference between Tradeshift and SAP Ariba?
- [21:19] When you’re buying Tradeshift, you’re not just buying a solution for your payment process or AP automation or marketplaces, you’re buying a supply chain ecosystem.
- [23:32] What’s the future of Tradeshift one to three years down the line? Where do you think you’re going to go?
- [25:04] When you start to think about the future, you’ve got to think about what the future network and software for B2B will look like.
- [29:37] We use all of the network data we have and we look at all the invoices the suppliers have been sending and then using AI and machine learning to look over four to five thousand data points.
- [31:22] How do you do that change management with sellers and suppliers and help them digitize?
- [33:58] What were the top-three learnings not to be repeated from building a startup?
- [34:03] Don’t do big things, don’t go single market, and do things as fast as possible.
- [36:10] Is there a secret recipe for building global teams? Is there a special Danish approach
- [37:35] What are your biggest mistakes in terms of hiring?
- [38:40] What would be one or two pieces of advice that you would give as a successful entrepreneur to somebody that would embark on this entrepreneur journey?
- [38:58] Entrepreneurship is all about grit; Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.
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