Basware – part 3 of Spend Matters US investment series

Jason’s series on vendors whose shares are publically quoted continued with Basware, who are of course a European company by origin and whose shares are still quoted on the Finnish stock market.

It is interesting how many software firms of Scandinavian origin are doing interesting things in our sector (Basware, Trade Extensions, Sievo, Tradeshift...).  Basware’s origin is very much in P2P and e-invoicing in particular. Here’s Jason commenting on the Finnish national personality...

There's a joke about Finnish people that goes something like this, according to an old friend (an American) who works with a bunch of Finnish colleagues. Two Finns walk into a bar. They both begin to drink. After 30 minutes of silent contemplation and imbibing, one of the Finns asks the other: "How is your family?" The gentleman replies: "Are we here to talk or are we here to have a drink?" Now, not all Finns are contemplative and serious people (though a surprising number I've met, going back to my first consulting gig after graduate school, are).

Basware, in Jason’s view, are guilty to some extent of hiding their light under the proverbial bushell which he puts down to the “Finnish culture of heads-down product building and an adversity to selling the afterlife of their solutions”.

They're working to address weaker areas (eProcurement) relative to where they lead the market (electronic invoicing, A/P automation and procurement/finance joint visibility). And as Jason says, “Our sources suggest that their rumoured next generation platform/architecture could potentially transform the P2P product market by truly linking best of breed capability on both sides of the purchase-to-pay equation”.

They're also consolidating the European e-invoicing market, buying network operators and supporting a model that encourages interoperability rather than attempting to drive all suppliers and users to a single standard.  And “unlike Ariba, Basware makes no apologies for selling a combination of enterprise software, SaaS solutions, network connectivity and enabling BPO services. Indeed, it's the combination of capabilities and flexibility that makes it so invaluable in the electronic invoicing area”.

Basware are clearly a focused and capable vendor with some market leading products and services, a down to earth approach and an expanding product range.  Their recent results have been good (see here); and they aim to “grow revenues at 15-30% a year”.  So an interesting firm both as a potential provider in the P2P space, and perhaps a good investment bet if you think that P2P in general, and electronic and automated invoicing in particular is going to be a strong market sector.

Read Jason’s full post here.

Disclosures: Spend Matters US has worked with Basware in advisory and related capacities in the past. Over fifty other providers have engaged Spend Matters and our affiliates in recent years, including a range of competitors/substitutes to Basware. See our "Disclosures" section for a partial list. Jason Busch, the author of this post, is not an investor in Basware, Internet Capital Group, Ariba, SciQuest or any other solution vendors in the procurement marketplace because of his role covering the solutions market. (The same applies to Peter Smith.)

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