Coupa to Buy Exari, Boosting CLM in Its Business Spend Management Suite

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Coupa Software is buying Exari to gain its best-of-breed contract lifecycle management (CLM) offering, Coupa announced Tuesday morning.

Coupa, a San Francisco-area suite provider of business spend management (BSM), said in a news release that the transaction for Boston-based Exari is expected to close in its second fiscal quarter.

In a disclosure to investors, it said the aggregate purchase price for the transaction is about $215 million in cash.

Exari is a top performer in Spend Matters’ CLM rankings on SolutionMap, and it is unique in its knowledge-based approach to deep contract modeling rather than just straight artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning based on contract text analytics.

Coupa has been looking to add to its existing contract management capabilities, and it said that this deal reinforces its strategy of providing “power-user applications that maximize the value of the core transactional spend” captured in the Coupa BSM Platform.

“Today, billions of dollars of buy-side transactional spend are processed against contracts stored in Coupa,” Rob Bernshteyn, chairman and CEO of Coupa, said in the announcement. “By unifying Exari’s advanced CLM capabilities with this transactional spend, we will enable companies to further decrease maverick spend, drive more savings, reduce risk and spend smarter.”

In Spend Matters’ recent PRO coverage, Coupa CLM: Vendor Snapshot Update, our Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell noted its need to beef up its contract capabilities.

He wrote: “Coupa is a bit of a conundrum because, relative to its competitors, it has some unique functionality that no other competitor possesses, but at the same time, the provider is also missing a core aspect of CLM functionality that its primary competitors already have.”

After hearing about the Exari deal, Mitchell said he sees the value in Coupa buying another provider with a key piece for its solution.

“With this acquisition, Coupa will be the only buy-side suite provider with AI-infused contract management that is currently proven in the market,” he said. “And given that contracts are the core of commerce, especially for services spend, Coupa's move is a very smart long-term bet to help it manage spend more broadly and deeply. That said, integration is non-trivial, and there are some things for buyers to watch out for.”

Exari is expected to be integrated with Coupa’s contract repository to enable the solutions to create and manage compliant contracts and “operationalize those contracts against spend transactions” to turn negotiations into realized savings, the announcement said.

“Understanding contract exposure and opportunities is increasingly a board issue as companies struggle to effectively manage compliance and business risks,” Exari CEO Bill Hewitt said in the announcement. “As part of Coupa, we will be able to provide companies around the globe with a world-class CLM solution.”

To see how this deal is reshaping the procurement technology market, and for buyers who are trying to understand its impact, read this PRO briefing about what kind of CLM solution Coupa will get and check out this SolutionMap comparison of Exari and Coupa’s CLM capabilities.

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