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Coupa acquires Pana, another travel solution, in the suite provider’s 6th M&A deal in recent months

03/22/2021 By and

Coupa announced it has acquired Pana, a provider of travel booking technology and the second T&E provider that Coupa has landed in its last 14 months of heavy M&A activity.

The suite provider of solutions for business spend management (BSM) said in its earnings call last week that Pana gives Coupa more capabilities with typical travel bookings and that the company’s innovative thinking, people and culture were a good fit.

In its most recent federal 10-K filing with the SEC, Coupa said it “paid aggregate cash of approximately $48.5 million and issued 23,822 shares of our common stock” in the Pana deal. Coupa’s stock prices last week ranged from about $285 to $252 per share.

Since January 2020, Coupa has acquired the travel rebooking specialist Yapta; the diversity/supplier relationship management specialists ConnXus; a treasury provider in BELLIN (which itself later acquired a treasury risk solution called Much-Net); and LLamasoft, a supply chain management and planning firm. (See Spend Matters’ in-depth analyst coverage of Coupa below.)

Pana got a brief mention in Coupa’s earning report, but it generated a lot of interest on the earnings call, with several financial analysts having questions for Coupa’s CEO.

In CEO Rob Bernshteyn’s opening remarks, he addressed the challenges of the coronavirus disruption for Coupa’s customers, for Coupa itself and its M&A growth.

And he specifically focused on February’s Pana deal.

“Pana’s (travel) booking engine will allow us to build upon our success in expense management and further unlock our potential with our Travel Saver offering,” he said.

“This acquisition is all about deepening that value for our customers while broadening our set of capabilities. This deal is consistent with our M&A strategy of adding technology components that maximize and enhance the value of our organic transactional core engine and/or augmenting this engine with key advanced power applications that optimize the value of these transactions.

“In making the decision to acquire Pana, we considered culture first, we considered buy-vs.-build, and we considered whether it could quickly be integrated into our platform while maintaining a seamless experience for users. … This acquisition checks all of these boxes.”

Piper Sandler financial analyst Brent Bracelin asked Coupa what it had learned in the last year since acquiring the travel firm Yapta that made it want to “double down on travel and expense management, and what was unique about Pana that attracted you to that business?”

Bernshteyn said the technology was innovative and that Coupa plans to use it itself soon.

“One of the things that’s distinctly unique about that company is the culture and the people and the passion they have for this category,” he said. “It’s a category that we’ve watched and have been in some way part of for quite some time now, and that’s No. 1.

“No. 2, they took a very innovative approach, a very smart, patent-pending approach to sorting out the very generic travel bookings process that’s prevalent in our industry. …

“So making that transactional construct part of our overall expense management offering and thus part of our overall business spend management offering just seemed like a complete no-brainer to us. And we’re well underway to integrating that offering already, and we look forward to have it being in market with that as one integrated suite here very, very shortly. We look forward to going live on (it) ourselves here in our own My Coupa environment shortly as well.”

See Spend Matters’ coverage of Coupa and its acquired solutions: