Today WAVE BL, the blockchain bill of lading platform, announced that it has processed more than 100,000 electronic bills of lading (eBLs) in the first three quarters of 2022. The company says it has experienced 12% quarter-over-quarter growth.
When a container ship loads goods, the ship provides a bill of lading which determines who has legal title to the cargo. This document is used to raise trade finance from banks and other credit firms.
WAVE BL has relationships with several large container shipping firms, including MSC, ZIM, ONE and Hapag Lloyd. But we’d hazard a not-so-wild guess that MSC accounts for a major proportion of the 100,000 eBLs.
Firstly MSC is now the largest container shipper in the world, having knocked Maersk off its top spot recently.
We also have a little insider information: when we ran the story that MSC was launching blockchain eBLs with WAVE BL in April 2021, to our surprise, the article proved to be one of the most popular we have ever published. And the audience was not our regular blockchain crowd.
“Our continued focus on partnerships, strong customer experience, and ease of use of our platform, supported by our simple pricing model has enabled our customers and their business partners to connect and realize value from WAVE BL swiftly,” says Bhavna Sethi, Chief Strategy Officer at WAVE BL.
WAVE BL has also played a role in developing standards for eBLs with the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA). The DCSA standard is the one recommended by the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICCs) Digital Standard Initiative (DSI). In July, the DCSA launched an eBL interoperability proof of concept that included eBL providers CargoX, edoxOnline, essDOCS and WAVE BL.
Like many startups, WAVE BL’s success has not come overnight. It started in 2016 and its first success was getting selected by the Barclays Techstars accelerator. Israel’s ZIM was the first big shipper onboarded in 2017 as a pilot client.
According to Crunchbase, WAVE BL has raised $15 million with the last funding round in early 2021, including from ZIM. With today’s announcement of surpassing 100,000 eBLs, we won’t be surprised if there’s another funding announcement soon.