No more spreadsheets: Crypto startup says it has a solution for the global supply chain

Quick Take

  • OpenTrade, a new startup in the crypto space, is looking to reshape the financial underpinning of the global supply chain with stablecoin USDC. 

Throw out your spreadsheets and PDFs. A new startup in the crypto space is looking to reshape the financial underpinning of the global supply chain with stablecoin USDC. 

OpenTrade, which announced a $1.5 million fundraise on Thursday, provides stablecoin rails it says will help companies move money faster and more affordably. Investors include Sino Global Capital along with Circle Ventures, Kronos Research and others.

Today, large manufacturers like automakers rely on a network of banks and non-bank entities to pay suppliers, make payroll and move funds around. Much of that activity can move to stablecoin rails, the firm said.

"When you combine composable DeFi infrastructure with payment stablecoin, the results can truly be game changing," the firm said in a blog. "For one, we can begin to move trillions of dollars of trade and supply chain finance off of spread sheets and PDFs and into programmable internet native formers. In doing so, we can make them transferable, peer-to-peer, in real time."

The fundraise comes after the lowest quarter for blockchain funding in two years, from a high of more than $12 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to $2.7 billion last quarter, according to The Block Research.


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Five Sigma

OpenTrade was founded in February by Dave Sutter and Jeff Handler, former employees of Centre, the consortium that manages USDC. Prior to Centre, the duo operated in the sleepy trade finance space, which is responsible for the financial pipes and plumbing that makes commerce and trade function. 

The firm has already clinched one major client, a supplier in the port services industry, which it claims could move $750 million in the next year. The firm, which historically has required its own clients to pay out a full invoice upfront, will now borrow from OpenTrade's sister company, Five Sigma, the full amount of its client invoice to allow them to pay as they go. 

"It leverages Circle accounts so if they don't want to be stuck with USDC it instantly coverts to dollars in your account," he said. 

Five Sigma was spun out of AGFE, a London-based firm with more than $3 billion in assets under management, and manages $700 million in assets and is run by Michele Bisceglia, who previously was a partner at AGFE. Steve White, another former AGFE partner is an advisor.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


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