Afternoon Coffee: China suspends penalties on U.S. goods; LawGeex secures $20M funding round; Catch up with the Future 5 vendors on ’50 to Watch’ list

China has suspended punitive tariffs on 79 types of U.S. imports, the Associated Press reports. China’s Ministry of Finance said that tariff increases on these goods would be suspended for one year, beginning May 19. The types of imports included in this announcement include radar equipment, disinfectant and rare earth minerals.

Disruptions from the coronavirus helped lead China and the U.S. to create conditions favorable to a “truce” on the ongoing trade disputes between the two countries. This announcement marks China’s third tariff cut since an agreement to buy more U.S. exports was reached in January.

LawGeex secures $20 million in funding

LawGeex, the contract review provider, has announced a $20 million round of funding, according to the website The round of funding was led by U.S.-based Corner Ventures with participation from La Maison and Aleph, among other vendors. This new round of funding marks $45 million in total since the company’s founding in 2014. The funding is set to be used to expand LawGeex’ reach in the U.S. and to additional English-speaking territories.

“LawGeex is seeing high demand for its solution and even further acceleration due to the flexibility, cost efficiencies and safety net afforded by digital automation during this challenging time,” Marvin Tien, Managing Director of Corner Ventures, said of the deal.

Several Future 5 vendors make ‘50 Providers to Watch’ list

Spend Matters Europe is catching up with our 2019 “Future 5” start-up vendors that have moved up to the “50 Procurement Providers to Watch” list for 2020, which just came out. Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton asked the vendors about what each company had done over the last year that helped move them onto the “Watch” list this year. You can read updates on Bid Ops, an e-sourcing tool positioning itself as the first AI solution for automating procurement negotiations using adaptive target pricing, and Fairmarkit, a strategic tail spend platform that also focuses on payments. (Fairmarkit is hosting a webinar tomorrow, May 13, on negotiations, “the not so soft skill.” You can register for the webinar here.)

Negotiatus and SupplyHive also made the 50 to Watch list. Check Spend Matters Europe for updates on them.

Ryanair plans to restore 40% of flights in July

Ryanair, one of Europe’s largest airlines, has announced that it plans to restore up to 40% of its pre-coronavirus flights by July, CNN Business reports. The news comes as several governments in Europe begin lifting lockdown orders caused by the pandemic.

The plan will increase the amount of daily flights between Ireland, the UK and the rest of Europe from the 30 it currently runs to about 1,000. However, the new flights will include several new restrictions for passengers, including temperature checks, face coverings and details of contact information while abroad.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended for May

Now through May, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

Read all of Spend Matters’ coronavirus coverage here.

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