Gradient Ventures, Google’s venture fund for new companies involved with artificial intelligence (AI) technology, is joining other investors in backing marketplace company BluePallet in its efforts to use AI in transforming how companies buy and sell complex chemical products amid disrupted supply chains.
BluePallet said today that it raised $8.3 million in a recent funding round backed by Gradient Ventures and Vinmar Ventures, the funding arm of Vinmar International, a global chemicals marketing and distribution company. BluePallet says its total funding to date is about $12.7 million.
Zachary Bratun-Glennon, a partner at Gradient Ventures, says BluePallet has a vast amount of chemical industry supply-and-demand data that, enhanced with artificial intelligence and machine learning, helps buyers and sellers to make more and better connections for completing sales transactions for chemicals and raw materials, including many that have highly complex specifications that can be difficult for buyers to find.
In addition, by letting users of its marketplace form their own trading networks among buyers, suppliers and distributors—including manufacturers selling to distributors, or distributors selling to other distributors—BluePallet opens more doors for companies to buy or sell chemicals, he says.
“BluePallet’s platform integrates best-in-class solutions for the chemical sector without sacrificing the needs of the players within it, whether they are Fortune 50 or small businesses,” Bratun-Glennon says.
Scott Barrows, CEO of BluePallet, says BluePallet is also designed to make the chemicals industry more sustainable by helping companies to find markets for excess materials that might otherwise end up in waste landfills. BluePallet also provides services to marketplace users including logistics, inventory management and payment capabilities.
“We believe that BluePallet will help Mitsui’s product offerings reach a wider audience while helping to bolster our sales and marketing functions,” Andrew Arzberger, senior marketing manager at Mitsui & Co. Ltd., a diversified global company involved in international trade of chemicals and other products, noted in a press release issued by BluePallet and Gradient. “BluePallet’s customizable setup and versatility will help fine-tune our trading capabilities and improve areas from logistics to fulfilling customer’s detailed requests.”
“We want to change how the industry does business in the way that rising tides lift all boats,” says Brian Perrott, president of BluePallet. “The Gradient team understood this, and we are very excited to have them be a part of what we are building.”
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