Afternoon Coffee: Bonfire Announces $11 Million in Financing, Timken to Buy Lubrication Supplier Groeneveld

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E-sourcing provider Bonfire announced Friday it has raised $11 million in financing, after adding a recently closed $8 million Series A round to an initial $3 million in seed funding, according to a press release. The company plans to use the financing to expand its sales and marketing teams, while also escalating product development in key areas like predictive analytics.

"We are seeing a fundamental shift in how procurement teams approach sourcing," said Corry Flatt, Bonfire CEO and co-founder. "Procurement teams used to work in isolation, focused on largely tactical outcomes like incremental cost savings or basic compliance. But today's procurement leaders have a new imperative: to drive transformative, strategic change. They're searching for ways to make their sourcing process smarter, faster, more collaborative and data driven.”

Timken Acquires Groeneveld

Bearings and mechanical power transmission manufacturer Timken announced earlier this week it would acquire Netherlands-based Groeneveld Group, a provider of automatic lubrication solutions, Industrial Distribution reported. The $280 million transaction is just the latest move by North Canton, OH-based Timken, which has been trying to diversify its portfolio over the last five years.

Japan Needs Workers

Japan’s population troubles are creating a dual crisis for businesses: The shrinking local market is both suppressing domestic demand and exacerbating the country’s labor shortage, pressuring companies to raise wages and in some cases even cut back on services offered, according to Reuters.

"We're having trouble both in hiring new grads and with pulling in people mid-career, especially those with technical expertise," one manager at a metals and machinery firm told Reuters.

Blockchain Goes to the Port

And finally, another installment in the real-life applications of blockchain chronicles: The Port of Antwerp, Europe’s second-largest port, announced this week it is looking to use the technology to automate and streamline the terminal's container logistics operations, CoinDesk reports.

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