In just a few years, the marketplace model has revolutionised B2B e-commerce and e-procurement.

Platforms like Alibaba and Amazon led the way, disrupting traditional long-term, trust-based relationships between corporate buyers and sellers.

It was risky bet, but it paid off: Alibaba generated revenue of US$35.8bn in 2018, while Amazon Business reached US$10bn in sales the same year, only three years after launching.

In 2019, there’s a B2B marketplace for just about every sector, from logistics and machinery to agricultural supplies, and their model is evolving: initially heavily vendor-focused, marketplace platforms are now giving more attention to buyers.

This is where…

Alpine Style investigates how blockchain, data and decentralisation are reshaping the trade finance sector. In Part 1, we looked at blockchain consortium initiatives, their evolution and limitations. In Part 2, we focus on decentralised finance (DeFi), a sector that is trying to bring liquidity to the ‘blockchain for trade finance’ equation.

DeFi for trade finance: the promise of virtually unlimited liquidity

By now, most people in the trade finance sector are familiar with blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT). But while traditional players are using it mostly to increase transparency and reduce fraud risk, a growing number of digital natives are choosing to explore blockchain’s liquidity potential: decentralised finance (DeFi).

Digitisation is changing the face of financial services. Not only has it allowed the industry to simplify and automate paper-heavy processes, it has also birthed an array of entirely new, digital-first players. In the credit sector, digitisation has created a tremendous opportunity to tap underserved segments, and incentivised healthy competition between credit card companies, traditional credit providers such as banks or invoice discounters, and newcomers like peer-to-peer credit platforms.

But just as players start to get used to selling digitally, a new business model is, yet again, pushing them out of their comfort zone. In the past three years, the…

It started with Amazon for retail and Airbnb for accommodation.

Today, virtually every sector is being disrupted by some form of marketplace or platform.

In the credit space, peer-to-peer lenders such as Lending Club or Mintos kicked off the trend, matching investors with people and small businesses in need of a loan. The P2P lending market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of around 50% until 2024, to reach almost US$900bn in value.

Innovation in P2P finance

While these platforms initially targeted private individuals, small business owners, who tend to find it difficult to access bank funding, have increasingly turned to…

Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Machine Learning (AI) technologies are increasingly being used in this industry to enable greater access to working capital through faster, more agile and bespoke offerings. This panel sessions reviews the latest innovative using of new technologies that are disrupting traditional invoice finance.

  • Connecting business owners with invoice buyers on a global scale by leveraging blockchain technology
  • How can the use of AI and DLT can minimize the risk of fraud in invoice finance and offer authentic transactions?
  • Exploring the various applications of AI within receivables finance: financial assessments, funding matching; KYC and AML
  • Insights…

Unfortunately, digitalisation isn’t all opportunities and benefits. A number of disruptors are emerging in the market and could have profound consequences. Some even estimate, should insurtech not be properly embraced, zero growth for insurers and perhaps worse for brokers. So, the question is how should the insurance industry react?

  • What are the main digital disruptors affecting the insurance industry today?
  • What do insurance users actually require?
  • Should the insurance market respond individually or as an industry?
  • What is the worst-case scenario for the current insurance market?
  • What can we expect over the next 5 to 10 years?

Christophe Spoerry, founder…

You may know that I am a huge believer in open innovation. So I obviously needed to apply the principles of open innovation to Alpine Style.

I decided to publish our list of ventures. I have absolutely no clue if it is a good idea: I hope that it will trigger (even more) collaborations with Alpine Style, but it can obviously also feed competitors…

The list is here: and we try to keep it up to date.

If you could help me spread the word towards other innovators in trade finance, that would be very appreciated!

Alpine Style ventures are a bridge between leading trade finance players and innovators

Alpine Style is…

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the main drivers for blockchain adoption in trade credit insurance and the related opportunities. This analysis is solely Alpine Style’s opinion, and does not aim at reflecting the views of our customers and partners in any way.

Our industry is changing under the combined effect of new technologies and business models. In particular, platform business models, APIs, data, machine learning, venture capital approach and — obviously — blockchain.

Blockchain is essentially data, stored in a decentralised and logical manner (the distributed ledger), with robust integrity (anti-tampering protection with various cryptographic techniques). It can be used in wide range of cases, most of which have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies. The later evolutions of blockchains add interesting features like automated triggers (smart contracts) and scalability for real-world use cases.

Credit insurance is a really (really) great product, when…

Continuing my post series on what mattered last week, here is one about a chat with innovation gurus Mike Sigal and Sheel Mohnot, from 500, and Charles Ruelle and I from EHDA. We met last Friday in our EHDA Paris open space, overlooking Paris. This meeting was made possible by the incredible Pauline Pham, who built a partnership between Deloitte and 500 Startups, and facilitated by Michel De La Bellière, partner at Deloitte.

EHDA office has quite a nice view over Paris — here an EHDA blockchain debate

Why this partnership?

500 Startups being one of the very successful VC and accelerator program, why would they bother about the digital transformation of established corporates? The rationale for the…

Trade Finance, Insurance and B2B sectors are often described as slow industries. What are the keys to gaining speed in these industries?

Many processes in Trade Finance and Insurance, and B2B to a certain extent, involve a high number of steps, compliance checks, and internal verifications. Moreover, organizations in these industries have been built around processes. In fact, processes are so deeply established that few people across the organizations master the whole value chain: the process is like walls that hinder the individuals’ sight. …

Christophe Spoerry

Building the future of B2B commerce

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