Startup News: Tradeshift raises $70M in funding, forms venture with HSBC bank

Tradeshift, a global B2B trading technology platform that has ridden the highs and lows of its industry in recent years, has some good news to report.

The San Francisco-based company announced last week that it is expecting to raise a minimum of $70 million in a new funding round, $35 million of which is coming from global banking giant HSBC. In addition, Tradeshift and HSBC have agreed to launch a new, jointly owned business focused on the development of embedded finance solutions and financial services apps.

In a press release announcing the joint venture, Christian Lanng, CEO and co-founder of Tradeshift, said that his company’s partnership with HSBC “delivers a strong foundation from which to scale and accelerate our vision of a trade network that creates economic opportunity for businesses everywhere.”

An article in TechCrunch points out that Tradeshift’s joint venture with HSBC, along with a fresh round of funding, comes “during a very tough climate not just for all technology startups but specifically for the sector in which Tradeshift works.” But the article added that a “ray of hope” has emerged, adding that results in the most recent second quarter suggests that there is a “small recovery in the U.S. market.”

Founded in 2009, Tradeshift’s last known valuation was $2.7 billion as of January 2020. According to TechCrunch, a Tradeshift spokesman said the company isn’t updating its valuation as a result of its latest funding round.

OpenAI and Upwork team up to find a pool of AI-skilled workers

OpeanAI, a leading AI research company and developer of the widely-embraced ChatGPT chatbot, and Upwork, an online marketplace linking workers with companies, have formed a partnership tasked with finding a generation of talent skilled in artificial intelligence.

The two companies announced in a joint press release last week that their new joint venture, “OpenAI Experts on Upwork,” will give OpenAI customers and other businesses “direct access to trusted expert independent professionals deeply experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.’’ The companies plan to find talent capable of working with the OpenAI API platform and to draw from the 250 unique AI skills available on Upwork, including GPT-4, Whisper and AI model integration.

“Providing customers with access to a trusted source of highly skilled global talent like Upwork can help ensure AI models are deployed and managed responsibly,” said Aliisa Rosenthal, head of sales at OpenAI, in the press release announcing the partnership.

Cerebras wins a battle in AI war with Nvidia

AI chip and computer-maker Cerebras scored a victory in its long-term effort to make inroads against industry-leader Nvidia.

Reuters recently reported that Cerebras has signed an approximately $100 million deal with G42, a United Arab Emirates-based technology company, to deliver three of what it calls its Condor Galaxy systems, which are considered among the most powerful AI supercomputers in the world. The first one will come online this year, with two more coming in early 2024.

As Reuters put it, the deal comes as companies around the world are searching for alternatives to Nvidia Corp, the market leader in AI computing and a stock-market darling.

Founded in 2016, Los Altos, Calif.-based Celebras was valued at $4.16 billion as of November 2021. The company is best known for its flagship AI microchip, the Wafer Scale Engine, which is the largest computer chip ever built.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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