A 15 year old software company is following the example of younger start-ups by closing an $18 million round of financing to fund plans to try and make global online trade simpler.
Syntra Technologies, which sells applications to manage the financial, logistical and regulatory issues involved in international trade, intends to host versions of its core global commerce engines to help users conquer international ecommerce barriers.
Users will pay to access the GLS.com service via a Web browser on a per transaction basis or by paying a subscription to access key global commerce regulatory information.
Scott Grisanti, director of Syntra's Global Commerce Management platform, said: "Right now, we have a situation where many ecommerce companies either put the emphasis on the buyer as being responsible for all costs at the delivery point or choose not to do business internationally."
He added that Xerox plans to use GLS.com to automate regulatory compliance processes for a high volume printing service over the Web, which will be available in 40 countries.
But the company faces competition from both start-ups and established organisations, including FDX Corporation, the parent company of Federal Express, which has just made an undisclosed investment in Vastera, a US based firm that provides its own regulatory and logistics engines for the Internet.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has also said it partner with Nextlinx, which has sold automation tools to the international trade community since 1994.
AMR Research said: "With a portfolio of people, data and products, Syntra now has the opportunity to reach more prospects through multiple channels with a more comprehensive set of offerings." It continued: "We expect international trade logistics to pick up in 1999 as many manufacturers get their ERP implementations behind them and redouble their investment in applications that extend backbone functionality."
The $18 million in financing will be spent on boosting Syntra's global commerce management services and wil; enable it to continue expansion.
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