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VNDLY raises $35 million in Series B to try to outsmart VMS

VNDLY, a cloud-based workforce management system (WMS) provider that has been causing waves in the VMS solution market, announced a $35 million Series B round today. Insight Partners led this round, with participation from Battery Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, EPIC Ventures, Bowery Capital, and the Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund. Perhaps raising a few eyebrows, ServiceNow — which provides digital solutions to structure and deliver services for enterprise operations — also participated in the funding round.

Brexit and U.S.-China trade deal gain steam

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Two sagas concerning world trade — Brexit and a U.S.-China trade deal — saw major developments Thursday but are not done deals yet. The UK election yesterday strengthened Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who for years has favored a UK exit from the European Union. In the U.S. amid impeachment hearings over President Donald Trump, he has signaled that a preliminary deal on the 19-month-long U.S.-China trade has been reached, according to several news reports. The development could avert even more tariffs being imposed on goods from China that were to begin Sunday.

Why would Medius buy Wax Digital? (Part 1: Company Backgrounds, Product Strengths/Weaknesses, Deal Rationale)

Earlier today, Medius announced it is joining forces with Wax Digital. Specifically, Medius, a Nordic-based provider of AP automation solutions with a growing presence in North America, is acquiring Wax Digital, a UK-based source-to-pay suite provider.

The entity will be owned by Marlin Equity Partners, a private equity firm, which purchased Medius in 2017. For those like me who have been around this sector for too long, you might remember Marlin for its purchase of Emptoris (before IBM acquired the provider from Marlin).

Flash forward exactly one decade from that buyout, and the combination of Medius and Wax brings together two providers with different geographic and product strengths with a combined emphasis on targeting finance and procurement organizations.

As we kick off our analysis in this Spend Matters Nexus series analyzing the transaction, we’ll focus this first brief on providing a quick overview of Medius and Wax Digital, and graphically explain how both fit into the source-to-pay landscape. We’ll also offer up high-level strengths and weaknesses on the solution level (for Wax) and a detailed introduction to the Medius AP footprint. Finally, we’ll begin to explore the rationale for the combination.

Later this week, we’ll delve more deeply into a particular strength of Wax based on Spend Matters’ SolutionMap data showing it has happy customers, explore the benefits of bringing together finance and procurement solutions to drive a larger total accessible market (TAM), and offer deeper insight into the potential integrations/touchpoints between Medius and Wax Digital. Finally, we will share an analysis of the impact on the competitive landscape, exploring how the combination may impact competitive AP automation and invoice-to-pay vendors as well as procure-to-pay and source-to-pay suites.

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a research and advisory group that works with sponsors, CEOs and boards on due diligence, M&A strategy and product strategy. Spend Matters and Spend Matters Nexus are owned by Azul Partners. Disclosure: Azul Partners served as an adviser to Marlin Equity in this transaction.

Medius to buy Wax Digital, giving the AP automation expert full source-to-pay prowess

AP automation provider Medius today announced that it is buying Wax Digital, the UK-based suite provider of source-to-pay capabilities.

Medius, which is based in Sweden, sees the deal as a chance to allow its "current and future customers to generate increased automation, visibility and control across the entire purchasing process.”

Read more about the deal and how it reshapes the procurement technology market.

SAP Ariba and Givewith partner on social-impact matching service

SAP Ariba and Givewith today announced a partnership where Givewith’s social impact solution will be available on the SAP App Center, giving SAP clients access to a matching service that allows them to find nonprofits to give donations.

Businesses increasingly are concerned with sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), and Givewith analyzes thousands of nonprofits to match with businesses’ needs to improve their social standing, which studies have shown helps the bottom line as well as aids reputations with the public and improves worker recruiting and retention.

“If just 8% of the nearly $3 trillion transacted by buyers and suppliers across the Ariba Network included Givewith, we would generate over $3 billion in funding for nonprofits,” said Paul Polizzotto, Givewith’s founder and CEO, in a press release. “As we look to tackle some of today’s most pressing social, economic and environmental challenges, we see SAP Ariba as a strong partner in unleashing the power of business transactions as an agent for social change. Together, we’re elevating the role of procurement by turning sourcing into a key component of the company’s larger business and CSR strategies.”

In a Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction post, our analyst Nick Heinzmann shares what he learned after spending time evaluating Givewith’s solution, Givewith Enterprise.

Technology analyst Magnus Bergfors joins Spend Matters’ team from Gartner

Noted technology analyst Magnus Bergfors joins Spend Matters today after several years at Gartner, bringing a deep background in strategic sourcing, procure-to-pay and other procurement software categories.

"I'm thrilled that Magnus will be joining us,” said Jason Busch, the founder of Spend Matters, whose analysts provide solution intelligence on procurement technology. “Not only is he deeply in touch with the needs of procurement organizations, Magnus will bring a global perspective on technology analysis, selection and best-practices to our audience in North America, Europe and around the world."

Magnus lives in Sweden and will increase Spend Matters’ coverage of the industry in Europe.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the Spend Matters team,” he said. “The balance of Spend Matters being large enough to have a critical mass of resources and world-leading expertise combined with the agility of a smaller organization allows for some really exciting opportunities for innovative research and to help our clients make the right choices.”

First Take Analysis: Workday’s Acquisition of Scout RFP (Part 1: Scout Background, Strengths/Weaknesses, Deal Rationale)

Workday, a provider of finance and human resources solutions, has announced its intent to acquire Scout RFP for a cool $540 million in cash. For those with a long-time background in the industry, this might at first seem like a somewhat mind-boggling sum for a sourcing provider, bringing back memories of Ariba buying Trading Dynamics in the early B2B sourcing era.

But things are a bit different this time, as Scout is bringing rapid growth, material customer numbers (240+ customers) and material ARR growth to the table (we’ll do a back-of-the-napkin analysis of ARR and revenue contribution later in this series). Moreover, it’s an innocuous way for Workday to target procurement without having to go after “the hard stuff” (another key theme we’ll explore).

So beyond the somewhat shocking number at first, the deal can begin to make sense if you peel the transaction onion. So let’s begin.

As we kick off our analysis in this Spend Matters Nexus series analyzing the transaction, we’ll focus this first brief on providing a quick overview of Scout, graphically explain where it fits in the source-to-pay landscape, explore the provider’s strengths and weaknesses, and then begin to delve into the rationale for the deal from the Workday vantage point.

Later this week, we’ll offer an analysis of the M&A and deal components of the transaction (e.g., estimated multiples), provide deeper insight into the integrations/touchpoints between Workday and Scout, and share an analysis of the impact on the competitive landscape (for competitive ERPs, source-to-pay suites and independent sourcing providers).

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

Workday to acquire Scout RFP for $540 million in cash

Earlier this afternoon, Workday announced its intent to acquire Scout RFP, a sourcing technology provider, for $540 million in cash. Scout RFP was a Workday Ventures portfolio company and Workday partner previously. In a Workday blog, the HR and ERP provider notes that Scout RFP’s “more than 160 employees across North America and Europe will be joining Workday.”

In the press release announcing the transaction, Workday suggests that “with Scout RFP, Workday will provide organizations a comprehensive source-to-pay solution with a best-in-class strategic sourcing offering to transform the procurement organization and deliver better business outcomes, including reduction in spend, greater policy compliance, and maximized engagement across key stakeholders.”

More Trump tariffs to be levied on goods from China — starting Sept. 1

In a tweet Thursday that rattled stocks, the Trump administration announced that, starting Sept. 1, 10% in tariffs will be levied against $300 billion in more goods that are made in China for companies that import them into the United States. The companies pay the tariffs, and the extra expense typically leads to higher prices for U.S. consumers. The Dow had been up about 300 points, but on the news, it fell 200 points.

Jaggaer sells majority stake to private equity firm Cinven


The procurement suite provider Jaggaer announced Monday that the private equity firm Cinven is buying a majority stake in Jaggaer, which will continue to focus on its unified Jaggaer ONE spend management offering and will look to expand into new markets. Jaggaer said no management changes were planned.

Fiverr IPO launches at $21, and share price nearly doubles


Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), the online marketplace for digital creative services, priced its 5.3 million IPO shares Wednesday night at $21 per, raising about $111 million in new funding. On Thursday morning, shares began trading at $26, but when the market closed in the afternoon, Fiverr’s share price had risen to $39.96 (nearly doubling). Based on the closing price per share and an estimated 31 million shares outstanding, Fiverr’s market cap would be about $1.2 billion, or 16 times revenue.

We will provide further analytic post-IPO coverage soon. In the meantime, check out our recent PRO series: Fiverr, the Online Services Marketplace, Is Going Public: What You Need to Know — Part 1 and Part 2.

New Trump Tariffs Are a Top Issue for Supply Chains, Managers of ISM Economic Reports Say

With the Trump administration’s latest tariff increase on goods from China set to start Friday, the managers of ISM’s economic indexes spent part of their Wednesday webinar addressing concerns about the new levy’s effect on the economy, procurement and supply chains.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t still be talking about (tariffs), but alas we still are,” said Timothy Fiore, chair of the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, which puts out the Production Manufacturing Index (PMI) on the first of every month.

“If we’d had this conversation two weeks ago, I would have been more optimistic,” he said. “With the news this week, I don’t know that I have an opinion. But people who know and that I’ve talked to expect the tariffs to go into effect Friday.”