What we did right in 2018 and our aims for 2019
Recent reports suggest digital payments and financial solutions are falling foul of fraudsters. Is this a sign that companies should return to paper? Let’s revisit why we moved away from paper to begin with…
2018 was a seminal year in our development here at CloudTrade.
We made great strides in onboarding new partners, including IBM, DXC (formerly Hewlett Packard Enterprise), SAP Ariba, BT, Cegedim, Opus Capita and SupplyOn. We were also delighted to increase the volume of work undertaken with existing clients. During the year we saw a 20% increase in partners and a 30% increase in end-customers using our service. It feels like we’ve graduated to an ‘early majority’ customer audience, which is gratifying.
In July we announced that we’d raised capital. This is the first time we’ve used external investors to fund our business, securing £2 million from Calculus Capital to accelerate our growth. We remain committed to running a profitable operation that’s not reliant on external sources of funding.
Time to scale
Since launching the business we’ve spent a lot of time and money making complex problems seem simple using our patented technology.
We’ve built a business on helping other businesses to become more efficient, with users seeing back-office document processing savings in the region of 60%. Partners and end users appreciate the value we bring to their Purchase-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash processes – we deliver electronic invoices, orders and other documents straight into their processing applications.
CloudTrade is now one of the fastest growing e-invoice and e-document networks, with a comprehensive and robust product that connects over 300 organisations to thousands of their trading partners across the globe. Our business is growing at over 40% YOY and processing over 1 million documents every month. Transaction volumes have increased materially, rising from 3 million documents in 2016 to a current annual run rate of over 12 million.
We’ve spent the best part of a decade building a reputation for excellence in our industry. 2019 is the year we scale. We’ve been described by TechMarketView as a ‘little British battler with strong global growth potential’. It’s time to realise that potential.
A new chapter for our business
We’re entering a new phase as a business, one that demands a huge push from the team to grow our footprint and affect positive change on a much larger scale. This is why we turned to external investors. We’re using the money to strengthen our global sales and support teams, expanding our platform to cover additional languages and bolstering our presence in Europe and the US.
In 2018 we welcomed Philip Padfield, the hugely experienced former CEO of Science Warehouse, as our new Chairman. Phillip is a seasoned operator in the tech sector and his presence strengthens our senior team. We also appointed Steve Emecz as Chief Revenue Officer and hired Tara Burghardt to oversee our marketing efforts globally.
In late 2018 we launched our US logistics business. Over $147 billion is locked up in AP invoice disputes, and we see a huge opportunity to help freight carriers, audit and technology companies get validated data from freight invoices without OCR or human intervention.
Getting out and about
We’ll be attending some great events in the first half of 2019. In March we’ll be heading to Birmingham for Advanced World, the largest annual gathering of the Advanced customer community. And in April we’ll be packing our bags for Austin, Texas, where SAP Ariba Live will be taking place (we also attended last year’s event in Amsterdam)
Attending these events is a great way to deepen relationships with prospects and partners and grow the business.
Everything starts – and ends – with the product
Above all, we remain focused on our product. Without an outstanding solution that moves the needle for our partners, we don’t have a business.
Last year we launched our public cloud-based service, migrating to Microsoft Azure in order to meet the growing demand for our services and benefit from secure geo-location, geo-replication and automatically scalable, serverless systems. In 2019 we will continue to optimise our offering, with a focus on Azure containerisation. At the same time, we’re working hard on improving our reporting tools, enabling partners and users to better visualise transactions and at the same time, appreciate the value of what we offer.
This is a hugely exciting time for CloudTrade. We’re making real progress in growing our business and looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress throughout 2019.