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TradeSquare stops trading in Australia as it plots US foray

Australian online wholesale marketplace startup TradeSquare has stopped taking new orders as the company shifts direction to “a new business model” focused on North America. 

TradeSquare co-founders Einat Sukenik and Nati Harpaz launched the business in 2020 as a trading place where wholesalers and SMEs could source and sell wholesale goods, with a strong focus on gifts and homewares.  

But Harpaz told Inside Retail that although the platform had grown quickly – and had secured $28 million investment from Tiger Global early last year – market conditions had changed “dramatically” since 2020. 

“Since that time, … the economy has slowed, and the supply chain from wholesalers to retailers that was rocked through the pandemic has not truly recovered,” the pair told Inside Retail

A broad-based business review concluded that it was “increasingly clear that the turbulence will continue”.

“We identified where the best opportunities will be in the future, and we have developed an evolved business model in a new category, targeted at North America,” Sukenik, who is also CEO, added.  

While TradeSquare is no longer accepting new orders, Harpaz said customers could be assured that all existing orders will be looked after, as well as all suppliers. “We are in business for the long-term, and we want to ensure that as we pivot to the new venture, we look after our current partners,” said Harpaz.  

During the past few months, Sukenik and her team have been setting up a beta test of a new concept under a new brand and website, with technical experts and a support team including e-commerce and sales staff on the ground in the US. 

The new concept is “all about reinventing the supply chain,” Harpaz added. “We could see global potential in flipping the whole thing on its head, focusing on the bottom of the funnel, and using technology to create a new and efficient supply chain that more directly connects the end customer with the product source. We are calling it a ‘demand chain’ because it precisely and productively satisfies demand.” 

Further details of the new concept will be revealed once testing is complete. 

Sukenik and Harpaz said it was a tough decision to shift direction. “But if we have learned one thing from the startup world, it is that you have to be agile, and you need to focus both your time and resources in order to succeed,” concluded Sukenik.

Footnote: Nati Harpaz is the chairman and a shareholder in Octomedia, the parent of Inside Retail.

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