Vizibl and Old Street Labs – An (ex)-Coupa Coup!

Taulia

We’ve mentioned Vizibl in passing a few times over the past couple of years without getting into a lot of detail. The platform comes from  Old Street Labs, the business co-founded by Mark Perera and Alex Short;  Perera was previously one of the founders of the highly successful Procurement Leaders organisation.

But Vizibl has deliberately been kept somewhat under the radar, so we still haven’t had a full demo of its capabilities. In essence, it is a platform that enables multiple parties to collaborate across large and complex entities. So the main use is in a supplier collaboration (or “supplier relationship management”) situation where the buying organisation is looking to work closely with key suppliers to drive performance and innovation. The platform focuses strongly on the value that such relationships can bring; something procurement has traditionally struggled to track and measure well.

The business is now emerging into the spotlight, with a press release this week announcing the appointment of Noah Eisner, founder of cloud-based spend management company Coupa Software, to its advisory board. Eisner has not been involved with Coupa for a while but carries a lot of credibility given the success of that firm.

We spoke to Perera recently and he talked about purchase-to-pay and supplier (collaboration) management as in effect the two key “procurement” processes. P2P is well-served by technology -- collaboration less so. The other interesting point is that this is not purely a sell to the CPO. Effective supplier collaboration and achievement of value always involves business stakeholders, so if it is successful, Vizibl will have a reach and a user base well beyond the procurement department.

The announcement also reveals more about the firm that we have not previously seen. The pharma and technology sectors are mentioned as two strong areas, and to “support its burgeoning global footprint, Old St Labs has opened offices in San Francisco, Munich and Montreal in addition to its London headquarters”.

Old St Labs has also apparently raised over £3 million in investment including significant sums from LocalGlobe and JMI Holdings. The firm predicts full year revenues approaching the £1 million mark, and claims to have several very large and blue-chip global firms already in its client base. All this is pretty impressive, and we’ll obviously have a more detailed commentary once we have taken a closer look at the product.

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