Q4 2013 may well be remembered as the inflexion point for AP automation and supply chain finance.
The synergy between e-invoicing and supply chain finance (SCF) has been recognized for some time but the reality of business is that despite the benefits staring us in the face, it takes time to put the pieces together and for it to become a reality. Software needs to be developed or adapted, marketing campaigns crafted and pilot programmes need to run their course. This all takes years. So when we see solutions emerging and new offerings launched, it’s not because everyone has suddenly seen the light – the early adopters saw the light a long time ago and what we’re seeing now is the culmination of years of effort.
The OB10 deal
announced last week follows two years of behind the scenes discussion. Tradeshift’s $3bn fund
to support small business is the realization of a vision that Christian Lanng shared with me about 3 years ago and just this week a new player on the scene, Crossflow Payments, emerged into the fading light of late summer after 3 years of research and development. I met Tony Duggan, the CEO, this week in The City of London to understand what they have to offer.