Tradeshift, a social network for connecting supply chains, does not necessarily see itself selling up anytime soon, its chief executive told CNBC on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, Christian Lanng cited advice that he had received on his first trip to Silicon Valley from LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
Years ago, Lanng said, the LinkedIn and PayPal entrepreneur told him that companies should never sell if they think their long-term market is bigger than the acquirers.
“I think the track we are on right now and the growth we are seeing … Our future market is pretty big so any potential acquirer would have to match that,” he explained.
When pressed whether his comments could be interpreted as the firm being willing to be acquired at the “right” price, Lanng replied, “Maybe.”
The start-up, which connects businesses to simplify their expense systems, is hoping to be ready to IPO (initial public offering) within the next couple of years and, according to Lanng, it was “very lucky” to have investors looking to position Tradeshift for the long term.
“I don’t think about an IPO as an exit, I think about it as a stage in a company’s growth,”Lanng said.