Afternoon Coffee: Catalant raises $35 million; Amazon, DHL, 9 others join electric vehicle alliance; president to sign USMCA

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Catalant Technologies, which enables organizations to leverage external talent and services in an agile way, announced its closing of a $35 million Series E equity round. Catalant, which was founded as Hourly Nerd in 2013, has raised a total exceeding $100 million since inception. According to the announcement, “Goldfinch Partners led the round, with new investments from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ZX Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and SJF Ventures.” Earlier investors included General Catalyst, Highland Capital, GE Ventures and Mark Cuban.

Catalant has evolved from being just an online marketplace matching businesses with freelance business consultants to a broader enterprise platform. According to the announcement, the Catalant Platform — which supports “work planning, resource management, and insights and reporting” — “enables business leaders to organize mission-critical work, access and deploy internal and external resources dynamically, and track the speed, quality and impact of work.”

The platform’s “resources module facilitates access to more than 65,000 independent experts and 1,000 consulting firms in 127 countries around the world,” the announcement also stated.

For contingent workforce/services procurement executives, Catalant provides an example of how traditional sourcing of various segments of contingent workforce and services is being augmented by new, innovative “platform sourcing” approaches. Feeling out of the loop? Read: How Procurement Can Participate in Platform Sourcing Initiatives: There Are More Ways Than One.

11 companies including Amazon, DHL join electric vehicle alliance

Amazon, DHL and nine other companies have joined the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, Supply Chain Dive reports. The other signatories are AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, Direct Energy, Genentech, Ikea North America, LeasePlan, Lime and Siemens. The alliance's goal is to combat climate change by hastening a multi-industry transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the Dive reported. The group is led by Ceres, an organization that advocates for business sustainability.

Trump to sign USMCA deal Wednesday

U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to formally sign the USMCA trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday at the White House, according to Reuters. The deal replaces the North American Free Trad Agreement (NAFTA).

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