2020’s Future 5 start-ups: Spend Matters announces standout newcomers in procurement technology

Evolution — it’s something the procurement function experiences every day. Business demands change constantly, setting the stage for new solutions that up the ante. Spend Matters has always been committed to covering the bleeding edge of procurement technology, highlighting not only the established market contenders at the table but also some of the most exciting procurement technology start-up companies in the world. We’re thrilled to announce the second annual “Future 5” today.

Outside of our established lists for “50 Procurement Providers to Watch” and “50 Procurement Providers to Know” released each spring, the Future 5 helps practitioners identify truly unique start-ups that they may not have heard of otherwise.

“The procurement and sourcing technology market is hot, and this goes for start-ups as well,” said Spend Matters’ Magnus Bergfors, VP European Research and Lead Analyst. “There are hundreds or even thousands of vendors in this space, ranging from full S2P suite vendors to specialists. That said, it can be hard for a practitioner to identify truly unique start-ups. So that’s why we compose our Future 5 list that highlights five really interesting newcomers that are tackling problems that existing solutions don’t address, tackling ‘old’ problems in new, interesting ways."

Many procurement technology start-ups move from early-stage to market contenders quickly, so each company was vetted by the Spend Matters analyst team to meet the following criteria:

  • Less than 5 years old, with ideally less than 2 years in market (official product launch)
  • Have 5+ customers
  • Have an innovative, interesting application of technology
  • Have clear momentum and staying power
  • Have under $10 million in revenue

The Future 5 start-ups selected for 2020 are:

  • graphiteConnect — Arguably the first supplier management vendor that is building its solution for supplier information and risk management on a network model, where suppliers enter and maintain their data once and can share it with any and all buyers in the network. The current system offers three modules for supplier management: supplier data management, supplier relationship management, and supplier risk management.
  • Prewave — A next-generation risk intelligence platform that analyzes social media, news media and third-party data feeds with advanced machine learning technology that can understand multiple languages. It can extract numerous categories of events, indicating potential risks, and then predict the likelihood of impact on a supplier and a supply chain that relies on that supplier.
  • Teampay — Provides tools for a business’s employees to request or independently purchase goods and services with predefined limitations. One could describe this as a “modern” variation on e-procurement. Instead of a centralized procurement function building a catalog of approved items or service providers to use, employees in various functions identify and purchase what they need or seek approvals.
  • Trakti — A step toward CLM that is digital native — that is, agreements modeled and managed in a fully electronic format. Via a combination of contract management expertise and targeted use of blockchain technology, Trakti offers smart contracts functionality in an end-to-end CLM system that it has applied across enterprise use cases, for real customers, at supply chain scale.
  • Utmost — Utmost is a new entrant to the contingent workforce/services solutions space, which, in past years, has seen the emergence of a number of innovative providers that complement or directly challenge established VMS players. Utmost has gone to market with what it calls an “extended workforce system,” or EWS — a platform that enables enterprises that use Workday to manage their total, multi-category, non-employee workforce.

In all, the Future 5 start-ups list brings deserving recognition to these exciting procurement technology start-ups — not only for their bold vision to tackle issues and their innovative technology, but also for their uniquely designed platforms and the way they’ve risen to the challenges of a COVID-19 world. Time will tell if these start-ups can create enough brand recognition and reach the right prospects to maintain true staying power in the future. But we’ll surely be along for the ride. (For analyst coverage on these vendors, see our PRO content in the related-reading section below.)

Our own Research Analyst Nick Heinzmann joined Dawn Tiura, President and CEO of SIG, for a LinkedIn Live session about the 2020 'Future 5' vendors – and also chatted about some interesting trends in the industry. Check out the recording now!

Keep an eye on the Spend Matters social media channels for further coverage on the Future 5 start-ups for 2020, as well as for upcoming interview podcasts by the Spend Matters’ editorial team.

Want to get your solution in front of the Spend Matters analysts? Reach out to our client services team now to request a demo.

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