Well-funded business tech firm Tradeshift eyes travel, launches virtual assistant

Tradeshift is targeting the travel sector with the launch of virtual assistant that manages travel bookings and payments.

The US-based company (founded by three Danes) has grown steadily since it launched in 2005 with a vision to overhaul the way companies buy goods and settle billings via the web.

Launching last week, Tradeshift Go is its first attempt to branch out into specific services for companies that also have to manage the travel arrangements of their staff.

The tool is aimed at mid-market size companies (50 to 2000 employees) and works by allowing employees to ask where they are going and what type of travel arrangements they need (hotel, flight, car rental etc).

Tradeshift Go then gets approval from the employee’s line manager, again via the chat module, so the staffer can then secure and manage the payment for the ticket or accommodation via the company’s existing Tradeshift invoicing platform.

The launch has come about after Tradeshift recently acquired chat-based assistant, Hyper Travel.

Hyper Travel (with just three employees of its own) only launched in January this year (TLabs here) but caught the eye of Tradeshift after the pair discussed how they might be able to work together.

Tradeshift trousered a hefty $75 million in Series D funding in June this year from HSBC, Amercian Express Ventures and others.

Tradeshift senior vice president and general manager, Sarika Garg, says:

“Go makes company spending as simple as using a consumer product like Amazon Alexa.

“Tradeshift is bringing consumer-grade experiences by leveraging the latest advances in AI and machine learning to transform age-old problems at work.”

One of Tradeshift’s early backers and a former member of the board is Morten Lund, chairman of the ill-fated Everbread travel tech startup.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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