Wave BL, a provider of blockchain-based electronic bills of lading (eBLs), has raised US$26mn in a series B funding round, which it says will fuel its global growth and market expansion in the digital trade documents sector.

The round was led by Arkansas-based NewRoad Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on innovative and growth-oriented companies in the supply chain and logistics, retail and marketing technology sectors. As part of the investment, Gary Adams, NewRoad’s operating partner and former Walmart supply chain officer, will join Wave’s board of directors.

Container line ZIM, Israeli entrepreneur Marius Nacht, Contour Venture Partners, Frank Sica, and Techstars Central LLC – all existing investors in Wave BL – participated in the round, which also saw the entry of venture capital fund Reefknot Investments, a joint venture between Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek and global logistics company Kuehne and Nagel.

Wave says the proceeds will be used to build out its team in order to support the further implementation of its distributed ledger network, which uses blockchain technology to enable parties to issue, exchange and sign a variety of supply chain encrypted documents with no need for a central server or registry.

“Our goal is to streamline, speed up and reduce the cost of global commerce by breaking the trade industry’s paper addiction,” says Noam Rosenfeld, Wave’s CEO. “We offer blockchain technology as the new gold standard for trust between trade partners, a game changer for international trade. The investment will be used to expedite our growth by increasing our employee base, primarily in sales, marketing, and research and development.”

Led by former technological leaders and experts from the Israel Defense Forces, Wave completed the world’s first live blockchain trade transaction with Barclays in 2016, and since then has signed up some of the world’s largest ocean carriers and NVOCCs, including Hapag Lloyd, Leschaco, MSC, One, Saco and ZIM.

This is the latest successful funding round for the company. In 2021, it raised US$8mn to support its plans to boost take-up of its solution among banks, bringing in former HSBC executive Ofer Ein Bar as head of financial institutions.