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John Han. (Intelage Photos)

After running his own commodities trade and marketing firm for 15 years, John Han knew all about the inefficiencies that plagued stakeholders across the global commodity industry. Now he’s turning those observations into a new startup that just raised investment from two VC firms.

Seattle-area startup Intelage has reeled in a $2.3 million seed round from Ignition Partners and GoAhead Ventures. The year-old company plans to grow its 5-person team and continue building out its software that helps customers manage their commodities businesses.

Han said the global trade industry is rife with manual and antiquated methodologies. Intelage provides tools that speed up and automate various parts of a trading business, such as risk control, documentation, inventory management, and cost optimization.

The company’s two main products are MarketPlace, a platform that connects agricultural suppliers and buyers, and TradeDesk, which provides real-time tracking, document automation, and in-app communication for trades and shipments.

Customers using Intelage span across the spectrum, selling and buying everything from grains to soybeans to lumber.

Han estimates that the global commodities market is $17 trillion. He added that the potential for trade wars actually makes Intelage more appealing, given that it “helps you to maneuver through uncertainty.”

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