InnovateUK awards Sifty a Smart Grant

Written by
Paola Copka

When inefficiency leads to opportunity

The instability that businesses are experiencing resulting from Brexit and the Supply Chain crisis requires a new solutions to improve cross border trade efficiency. International trade’s most complicated step is classifying goods correctly to clear customs efficiently and pay the correct taxes if any are required. Although supply chain technology is a thriving space, few solutions tackle the delays that happen at customs clearance. Stakeholders in the trade and logistics ecosystem urgently need to increase efficiencies and solve the bottlenecks in their international customs processes.

A customs broker reached out to seasoned tech founders Julio and Oscar and set them the challenge of analysing his data to solve a process bottleneck that otherwise would require hiring more people. By combining their experience from the worlds of international trade, data science and working directly with industry partners, they began the journey to build the Sifty Machine Learning solution.

Innovate UK approved

Now Sifty has been awarded the prestigious Smart Grant from the UK government program “InnovateUK”. The project has been identified as a game changing, disruptive idea that can be rapidly commercialised and significantly benefit UK and international trade. 

We are honoured to be selected as a world leading project that can positively impact the UK’s position, productivity and competitiveness within the global economy.”
Oscar Morales, Sifty CEO

The Smart Grant program is a rigorous selection process where only the most critically important projects are chosen and on average only 6% of the companies requesting a grant get funding.

Goods classification

All goods must be classified in a specific format when crossing borders. Classifying goods for international trade is a mystic art and oftentimes customs brokers are the gatekeepers to speed up the process. The goal is to find the correct local language description and match the corresponding item code. The code is a numeric sequence of 6 to 14 digits and can be slightly different depending on each country. This allows the customs broker to identify the excise, taxes, and requirements for an individual item. The local language description is a phrase that describes the item well but without going into specifics, like its contents. The completion of this process is complex and time consuming.

Sifty is working to transform the industry by giving computers the work that requires low-cognitive power, while the tasks requiring a human approach are left to us, the humans. 

“With our knowledge in international trade data and Machine Learning we are building a search engine that will best match the product description and item code. The goal is to make it as easy as searching for something on Google.”
Julio Cesar, Sifty CTO

Sifty are building an ecosystem of tools that predict the risk of inspection requirement for a physical item crossing a border and create the corresponding customs declaration so it can be processed rapidly. By applying Machine Learning to sift through thousands of data points in seconds the long term goal is that future customs declarations will have a predicted risk for merchandise without having any previous information.

Sifty believe's that Machine Learning will help people work faster, removing mundane tasks and allow us to focus on interesting and engaging activities. Endorsed by Innovate UK, their vision is to facilitate collaboration between all industry stakeholders to change the flow of information in international trade to make it better together.

Get in touch today and schedule a demo.

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