An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Gadi Ruschin of WAVE BL, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of WAVE BL – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Coming from the trade industry, blockchain was a technology that piqued my curiosity as a solution that could be implemented into the landscape to drive supply chain transparency and improve operational efficiency. Initially, traditional paper-based processes have been a real obstacle in the industry. Though it holds substantial value, we wanted to find the intersection of maintaining paper’s unique properties as a trusted resource but eliminate the costly pain points it causes industry stakeholders. Secondly, consider that today, each entity of the shipping ecosystem (cargo owners, ocean carriers, customs authorities, logistics service providers, seaports) use different systems to exchange documents with each other. WAVE BL is committed to offering the ability to exchange paperless information on a single, central, and secure digital platform, where every member of the supply chain can exchange documents and data in minutes. The costs and internal inspections involved in waiting for paper documents like certificates of origin or Bills of Lading, and the risk of getting left behind, are no longer an issue with our solution.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The network size is a critical element of the effectiveness of our solution and it is our mission to onboard as many entities of the supply chain as possible. Players can exchange documents only if every entity in the trade transaction uses the WAVE BL network. To overcome that hurdle, we recruited first the industry leaders – carriers and freight forwarders. Today, large companies such as MSC and ZIM use our network and actively onboard their customers. That is the exact moment when our network feature turned from a barrier into an accelerator.
The COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 was the turning point when everyone in the trade industry recognized digitization as essential to business sustainability. At the moment, not all banks have caught up, which means there is an un-digitized link in the chain. I’m sure this will evolve quickly, with more banks enabling buyers and sellers to use end-to-end digitized document workflows that support Letters of Credit.
What does the future hold for WAVE BL?
Thus far, WAVE BL dominates the container market with a 49% adoption rate. Soon, we will become the international standard for exchanging documents electronically. We anticipate a huge leap forward for adoption and embrace in our technology. We are currently focused on standardizing the digitization of the Bill of Lading, the most essential document in the maritime industry. We hope the BL standardization will help companies still sitting on the fence to join the digitization revolution.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Delaware?
Delaware is becoming a promising startup hub for tech. From agricultural technology companies to fintech, my understanding is that there is an upward momentum for the Delaware high-tech economy.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have a clear direction; without a clear direction, you will go in circles. And everything will take twice as long to achieve.