Tradiant boosted by $21 million funding deal

ABN AMRO Private Equity and Warburg Pincus lead $21 million round of financing for Tradiant, a provider of e-commerce infrastructure for the international shipping industry.

Tradiant- a provider of technology platforms, products and e-commerce network for the transportation industry - has raised $21 million in a third round of financing. The investors are ABN AMRO Private Equity, Warburg Pincus, Itochu Corporation, BEA Systems and Megunticook Fund. 

Tradiant was unable to reveal the breakdown of the levels of investment or equity by each company. However, ABN AMRO Private Equity and Warburg Pincus are the lead investors, with Warburg Pincus back for second helpings in this round of financing.

 Tradiantwill use the funds to expand sales and marketing initiatives, create strategic partnerships and expand the range of e-commerce solutions offered by Trans-Commerce, Tradiant's proprietary, web-based technology platform. Currently, merchants can only use Trans-Commerce to enquire, negotiate and conclude contracts with over forty freighters and carriers.

According to Michael Finegan, managing director of Tradiant in Hong Kong, the company will be introducing a beefed-up version of the software in October that will enable participants to draw up shipping documentation, settle transactions and - where required - deal with tariff requirements online. In the future, Tradiant plans to introduce Asian language versions of the software to cater to this region's market.  

Estimated at over $1.3 trillion annually, the international shipping industry is one of the largest in the world. It is also a highly fragmented and complex industry. According to Tradiant, a typical commercial shipment will involve nine different participants, 20 separate documents, 35 customer-vendor interactions, and four modes of transport. Although Tradiant's Finegan was unable to give an estimate, he says that "substantial savings" are to be had by utilizing the Tradiant platform.

Tradiant has more than 600 users of its system, of which a quarter is estimated to be based in Asia.Finegan expects the company to be profitable in the second half of next year.

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