Coupa acquires ConnXus, adding a wealth of supplier diversity capabilities

In its second acquisition this year, Coupa has acquired the supplier diversity specialist ConnXus, according a Spend Matters interview Monday with Coupa, a suite provider of business spend management solutions.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Coupa said talks had been going on since 2019 and that the coronavirus disruption played no role in the negotiations.

Rod Robinson, the Founder and CEO of ConnXus, said it was important to him that Coupa could highlight the benefits of supplier diversity and carry on with ConnXus’ mission. He was aware that other acquisitions of supplier diversity solutions didn’t play out as envisioned in those deals.

“When I thought about selling ConnXus, that concern was a concern for me, but I was impressed at how mission-specific Coupa was on the issue,” Robinson said. “Supplier diversity was set aside in other deals, but the combination of Coupa and ConnXus makes me confident as we go forward.”

Robinson will stay on and report through Coupa’s management structure as ConnXus’ solutions are integrated.

Coupa plans to support all ConnXus customers and expects that they will eventually migrate to using other components of the Coupa platform, as seen in previous acquisitions, said Donna Wilczek, Coupa Senior Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovation. Coupa said it has begun a plan to unify ConnXus into its solution for business spend management (BSM).

“We are one company today,” Wilczek said.

“The culture of both firms is a fit, and ConnXus is so in the spirit of Coupa,” she said.

Coupa said one of its main focuses for the acquisition was to move supplier diversity out of the siloed position that it finds itself in at many companies.

“Top companies are concerned with supplier diversity and CSR. And firms want to comply with federal acquisition mandates,” Wilczek said. “Coupa wants supplier diversity to evolve to a business-driven decision. Doing the right thing is what we’re working to support via BSM-powered sustainability, and we’re seeing that trend in the market.”

ConnXus — based in Mason, Ohio, near Cincinnati — has a database of millions of global suppliers to help buying organizations quickly identify potential suppliers that fit not only basic sourcing requirements but also various additional criteria, including diversity status and risk. It also has a matching feature called myConnXion, which is an open-ended supplier network. It has richly maintained supplier profiles of current and potential partners.

Besides supplier diversity, ConnXus has strengths in supplier master data management to power supplier discovery and sourcing efforts.

ConnXus, like Coupa, has been on Spend Matters’ radar for years. (See a list of coverage below.) ConnXus just moved onto Spend Matters’ “50 Providers to Know” list, along with Coupa. ConnXus had been on our “50 Providers to Watch” lists for years.

Coupa has acquired more than 10 companies in its history, and it is known for integrating those firms’ intellectual property and capabilities into market-ready offerings as part of its platform for business spend management (BSM).

On Jan. 7, 2020. Coupa announced its acquisition of Yapta, a T&E solution provider that enables businesses to automatically monitor and re-book air and hotel reservations when prices drop. Yapta also provides category specific spend analytics and intelligence. Spend Matters’ PRO analysis said at the time that the deal “catapults Coupa from one of many brands competing against ‘the big T&E kahuna,’ SAP Concur, in the enterprise and SMB space to one of the few specialized technology providers that can tell a broader story that includes truly non-invasive travel savings and category management.”

For our analysis of the Coupa-ConnXus deal and details on what Coupa is getting, read our PRO analyst briefing here.

Spend Matters’ coverage over the years

ConnXus

Coupa and its acquired solutions

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