Coupa – what will they do with all that cash?

Last week, Coupa, P2P technology mavericks, announced they’d obtained $22 million in new investor funding to support further expansion.  Jason at Spend Matters US wrote about it here, outlining how Coupa are likely to use the money, and highlighting some of the reasons for their success and rapid growth in recent years. He sees the fund-raising as positive for Coupa clients – notwithstanding some IP / patent issues they’ve got (more to come on that) - and he says “perhaps most important, the (funding) round should provide Coupa with the ability to more aggressively build out its functional footprint”.

He then followed up with a more general article around wider implications of the Coupa news, including the climate for investment in procurement technology – he sees good opportunities at the moment for firms to raise capital, both existing organisations and start-ups, if they genuinely have the right product. There is also the potential for “disruptive” forces coming into the procurement solutions market.

“It may come from the bottom (e.g., Coupa, TradeShift and new entrants). Or it may come from the top (e.g., Amazon)”.

Jason’s third article in the series goes back to Coupa’s plans to extend and develop their capability. He talks about four areas of interest; contract management, analytics, ( including a growing focus on budgeting and other tools to support finance related needs), T&E related capability, where they’re already strong,  and supplier networks and connectivity. It’s a highly informative piece, with a ton of detail, including some Coupa screenshots, so if you’re at all interested do take a look here.

Coming back to the availability of funding for providers; will European firms grasp the opportunity? We’ve commented before on the cautious approach of most European technology providers; we’ve written about many firms here who appear to have good products and prospects, but there does seem to be a caution in Europe that we don’t see in the US.

European firms look at their progress and think “we’re growing at 10- 20% a year, we’re profitable, that’s fine – we’ll settle for that”.

US firms think, “we’ve got a great product, we’re only growing at 20%, if we get some more investment we can turn that into 50 or 100%”!

So will any European firms take up Jason’s challenge? Which providers have untapped potential that further investment could release? That’s the big question...

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