In Case You Missed It … Procurement and Supply Market Roundup

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We can't comment on every press release that hits our desks, but here are a few market news stories this week that we thought we should bring to your attention, and some of our own you may have missed - we'll have more from our analysts in the coming days  ...

McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media Trial Blockchain

McDonald's, Virgin Media and Nestlé have signed up to a blockchain (distributed ledger technology) pilot to help boost the efficiency and transparency of the digital ad buying supply chain. Cross-industry trade body, Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards, launched the pilot earlier this year and called for businesses to take part, aiming to increase trust and transparency in digital advertising. The trade body said it will use the first round of tests to measure the impact of blockchain solutions that provide "end-to-end supply chain transparency and clarity around advertising spend." The Drum has the full story.

Chief Exec of New Liverpool University Hospitals FT Provider Announced

The chief executive for what will be one of the largest NHS trusts in the north of England has been appointed from a shortlist of three interviewees, reports HSJ this week. The merger of Aintree University Hospital FT with Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust will appoint Steve Warburton, currently chief executive of Aintree, to be chief exec of the newly formed Liverpool University Hospitals FT. “The two acute trusts, but particularly RLBUHT, have struggled with performance and finances over the last year. They reported a combined deficit of £85m,” the report says. The new provider is expected to turnover more than £900m per year. Read more here.

Icertis Becomes First True CLM Unicorn, with $115M Funding Round 

Icertis announced this week that its latest funding round raised $115 million and that the provider of contract lifecycle management (CLM) is now valued at more than a billion dollars, reaching proverbial “unicorn” status. The latest round brings total funding to date to $211 million. Spend Matters said: "Icertis is a clear market leader in the CLM space based on our latest Q2 2019 SolutionMap deep-dive competitive assessment (available here for free). And, Icertis competitor Exari was recently acquired at roughly a 10X multiple, so there should be little doubt about Icertis’ favorable prospects." Icertis says the funding will be used for continued product development in adjacent product areas (and geographies), verticalisation, possible acquisitions, blockchain development and, of course, AI. Read more here.

Startup Procol to Help India’s Food Supply Chain System

Delhi-based start-up Procol, short for Procurement Protocol, founded by Gaurav Baheti (ex Google and Zomato) and Sumit Mendiratta (ex OYO and Zomato, has raised  $1 million in seed funding from early stage investor Blume Ventures and Rainmatter Capital, an initiative by stock broking platform Zerodha. Procol operates in the food retail industry helping firms reduce their procurement and related supply chain costs via a networked procurement platform, a single place for live auctions, market rates, collaboration, and intelligent commodity insights. The funds will be used to scale the procurement platform and start deploying other applications around it. Read more here.

Stonehenge Tunnel – Search for Main Contractor Begins

“Highways England has kicked off the search for a main contractor to build the £1.7bn Stonehenge road tunnel, despite watchdog MPs’ concerns about the viability of the scheme,” reports Building. The contract will be worth £1.25bn to the winning team, but the Public Accounts Committee had previously flagged the lack of a secure funding plan and the transport department’s poor track record when it comes to delivering major projects. Read more here.

IBM’s First Publicly Announced Deal Since Red Hat Aquisition

IBM has announced a new multi-year cloud agreement with AT&T rumoured to be worth “billions” of dollars. This is IBM’s first deal since it closed its $34 billion acquisition of open-source software manufacturer Red Hat. In justification of IBM’s purchase, AT&T will use Red Hat’s open-source platform to manage workloads and applications and “better serve” enterprise customers.

€30 million in Series B Funding for Berlin-Based B2B Invoicing Startup

Berlin-based fintech startup Billie has raised €30 million in Series B funding. The firm, founded in 2017, offers a B2B invoicing and payments platform. “As B2B transactions are more than twice the volume of B2C transactions, the potential to help our customers is enormous. And, up to now, this market is unserved,” Billie co-founder Dr. Matthias Knecht told TechCrunch – read that here.





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