Why we Invested in Tradespace

Eniac Ventures
3 min readFeb 12, 2024

By Tim Young, Kristin McDonald, and Owen Chun

One of AI’s most immediate value propositions lies in distilling vast amounts of both unstructured and structured data into actionable insights. At Eniac, we get particularly excited when founders leverage this capability to supercharge workflows and power new systems of record for an industry.

The IP space has long been on our radar as a ripe candidate for that, spurred in part by Eniac partner Tim Young’s background as a patent attorney.

IP as an asset class was thrust into the corporate limelight in the early 2000s, propelled by Kodak’s shift to a ~$3 billion licensing business and high-profile deals like the $12.5 billion sale of a large portion of Motorola’s IP portfolio to Lenovo. This sparked a “patent everything” corporate mindset that led to US patents grants nearly doubling since 2000. Today, the value of U.S. commercialized IP stands at $6.6 trillion, and industry giants like Apple and IBM boast portfolios exceeding $75 billion.

However, with the significant expansion came bloat and inefficiency. Maintaining patents is costly (Samsung spends over $135mn annually), but of the 2.1 million active patents today, a staggering 95% are never commercialized. All in all, it’s estimated that U.S. firms annually miss out on $1 trillion worth of underutilized IP assets.

Now, the industry mindset is shifting, with IP professionals taking an increasingly strategic approach to their portfolios. However, the task of optimizing bloated IP portfolios and accurately underwriting the value of new patents requires expert analysis based on mountains of dense data and industry-specific know-how.

This is the problem Tradespace set out to solve, and today we’re thrilled to announce Eniac is leading their seed round, along with participation from Amplo VC and Abstract Ventures.

Tradespace is an end-to-end, AI-enabled software solution that leverages domain specific LLMs to help organizations evaluate new potential patents, streamline intellectual property portfolios, manage patent strategies, and discover monetization opportunities through commercialization, partnerships, financing, and M&A.

Our conviction in Tradespace stems from the founding team’s deep expertise in the space, and their unique vision for the future of IP. Alec Sorensen founded Tradespace after years spent leading an IP commercialization practice. He is joined by co-founder and CTO Kapil Israni who, with over two decades of experience as a software engineer, developed an interest in the space during his tenure at his previous startup when he was forced to navigate the intricacies of monetizing its IP. Together they’ve seen first hand the excess costs and potential opportunity tied up in modern day IP practices.

This insight led them to focus not only on creating more efficient workflows, but actually generating revenue by helping IP professionals easily identify high-margin monetization opportunities for existing patents. Trained on the largest dataset of open-source and proprietary IP data, Tradespace has already created over $100M in IP commercialization revenue for its clients, including BAE Systems and the Department of Defense, while reducing IP operation costs by nearly 20%.

Ultimately, Tradespace is empowering companies to transform their IP departments from cost centers into zero-cost revenue drivers at a time when companies are focused on doing more with less. At the core of this mission is the belief that solutions to the world’s most critical challenges are inherent in existing technologies, ready to be uncovered and repurposed. Tradespace serves as the gateway to this unlock, making it simple for every intellectual property owner to uncover and access the foundational IP that drives innovation across industries.



Eniac Ventures

We lead seed rounds in bold founders who use code to create transformational companies.