Afternoon Coffee: Microsoft in talks to acquire messaging platform Discord; Keelvar names Workday exec as board chair; PRO recap: Payable strategies (Parts 2&3), digitizing direct materials sourcing

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Microsoft Corp. is in talks to acquire the messaging platform Discord Inc. for $10 billion or more as the software company aims to deepen its consumer offerings, according to the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft and Discord could complete a deal next month if negotiations go well.

Discord offers voice, text and video chatting. The platform’s popularity surged during the Covid pandemic as people looked to online avenues to stay connected.

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Microsoft, with its market value of more than $1.7 trillion, has been on the hunt for an acquisition that would help it reach more consumers, the article said. Last summer, it looked to buy video-sharing app TikTok.

The move would boost Microsoft’s video game business — which includes the Xbox game platform — and its social-networking footprint, the article said. Microsoft’s efforts to gain a presence in social media have been halting in recent months.

Keelvar names former Workday CTO David Clarke its board chair

Keelvar, an AI-backed sourcing automation provider, announced David Clarke as its new board chair, according to the website independent.ie.

Clarke is the former chief technology officer of Workday, a $60 billion company.

Clarke is also the co-founder of Cape Clear Software, which was acquired by Workday. He will advise Keelvar on product development and growth, the article said. Keelvar most recently raised €16 million in funding last year. The company specializes in software for sourcing optimization and automation. Clarke is an investor in Keelvar and other start-ups.

“David is a technology pioneer with an extensive background in building and scaling global tech companies,” Alan Holland, Founder and CEO of Keelvar, said in the article. “His insights and practical learnings will be invaluable as we continue to expand our team, enter new markets and transform sourcing and procurement.”

Spend Matters' analysts look at payable strategies and direct procurement

This week, Spend Matters PRO analyst David Gustin continued his five-part series on payable strategies for the long tail suppliers — looking at operational challenges and addressable spend. Also, PRO analyst Pierre Mitchell dug deeper into the digitalization of direct procurement.

Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers can see the lengthy intros that frame the issues being discussed. This week:

Look for the Payables Strategies series to wrap up next week, with Parts 4&5 launching Monday.

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