Afternoon Coffee: SirionLabs raises $44M in funding; SIG Summit vendor videos; Container demand expected to drop 25%; Warehouse capacity contracted in April

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The CLM startup SirionLabs has raised $44 million in a Series C round of funding. The round was led by Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital, bringing the company’s value to about $250 million, according to TechCrunch. The funding will help SirionLabs expand and better handle a surge in clients, the company said in a press release.

Spend Matters' Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, CLM analyst Nick Heinzmann and Nexus Managing Director Jason Busch have written a PRO analysis of the funding round and how SirionLabs is ascending to the top of the CLM market and reshaping the landscape for contracts solution providers.

At SIG Summit, vendors get Spend Matters' video commentary

The Sourcing Industry Group kicked off the fully digital SIG Procurement Technology Summit on Monday, and events are fully underway. Attendees can visit the Summit’s Innovation Hall, where vendors offer a video pitch with an introduction from SIG President & CEO Dawn Tiura and include details on the vendor’s solutions — some even detailed COVID-19 response information.

Many of the videos are followed by “off-the-cuff” commentary from Spend Matters’ Founder Jason Busch. He provides feedback on the pitch and offers some bigpicture commentary on the vendor, as well as a grade for each portion of the video. Vendors with Jason’s commentary include APEX Analytix, Bid Ops, CostDrivers, GEP, Guidant Global, IntegrityNext, Medius / Wax Digital, SAP Ariba, Scout RFP (a Workday company), SIG University and VNDLY. Summit attendees can find the video series here.

The SIG summit is taking place all this week, and registrants can still join online sessions or review on-demand content. Register here.

Container demand expected to drop 25% in Q2

Denmark-based A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, expects container demand to drop by up to 25% in the second quarter this year due to disruptions from the coronavirus crisis, the Associated Press reports. The prediction comes after the company posted first quarter financial results, which showed revenue at $9.6 billion and a profit of $209 million.

The company said that its outlook for the rest of 2020 was filled with “high uncertainties” due to the pandemic. This is a revision to the company’s previous outlook prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was for 1-3% growth for the year.

Warehouse capacity contracts, imports still arrive

The Logistics Managers’ Index (LMI) measure of logistics activity fell to 51.3 in April, according to a report from Supply Chain Dive. This reading is the all-time low for the index and shows that warehouse capacity, transportation utilization and transportation prices contracted in April, despite a brief surge of activity in March.

As retail storefronts have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, shipments have been down, brands have canceled orders and businesses are forced to figure out where to store inventory. This reading marks the first time in the history of the LMI that transportation prices and warehouse capacity both contracted at the same time.

Automation a likely solution to pandemic disruptions

PwC has said that executives across many industries are looking at automation as a way to circumvent future crises similar to the coronavirus pandemic, Supply Chain Dive reports. According to PwC, 37% of CFOs are planning to increase investment in automation.

PwC expects to see automation become a focus of data collection and supply chain effectiveness analysis, the report said. However, despite the focus of automation, supply chain management skills will still most likely be in high demand. The report theorizes that knowledge of supply chain management will become key after many industries found how vulnerable their supply chains were during the pandemic.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended for May

Now through the end of the month, 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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