Spend Matters 50/50: Proactis – A Provider to Watch in 2015

100 companies - 100 days

We announced here and here our two (not ranked) lists: Spend Matters 50 To Know and 50 To Watch firms for 2015/2016. In the first case, this is our view of the 50 solution provider type organisations in the procurement industry that every senior procurement leader should be aware of and understand. The 50 To Watch are the up-and-coming firms  - those with interesting and relatively new solutions for our market. The 50 To Know are the key organisations in our industry that procurement executives need to have on their radar.

Having announced the lists, our US colleagues are now featuring each of the 100 firms in turn with an article giving an overview of each, with some headline Spend Matters thoughts on them. So on this site we will be giving you a brief extract of the US article, plus adding our own comments where we have anything useful to add from a European perspective. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t!

Here is what our US colleagues had to say about Proactis:

"From a corporate development perspective, we have significant admiration for what Proactis has been able to accomplish, and it is the primary reason for our inclusion in the Spend Matters 50/50 this year. Indeed, few organizations of this relatively (small) size can pull off this number of transactions, all of which were done at highly attractive multiples ... Small deals can be as complicated as larger ones, and completing 3 in a matter of months, while managing to maintain the individual talent and capabilities of the acquired assets, requires a balance of transaction art and science."

And you can read more about what our US colleagues have to say about Proactis here, while in the UK and Europe, we have covered Proactis over the years as of course they are a UK-based business, Wetherby in Yorkshire, to be precise - that hotbed of Silicon Valley-like entrepreneurship. Lovely place actually.

Before their acquisition spree last year, Proactis had a range of mid-tier clients (in terms of size and profile), with strength in public and third sectors and a decent spread of private sector clients too. They LOVE the eWorld events but are relatively low profile in marketing terms outside that, but have progressed steadily in the UK certainly. As out US colleagues commented, they should be congratulated for their progress in 2014, and they showed that 2+2 can make 5 in valuation terms.

Can they make it add up to 6, 8 or 10 though and become a serious competitor to Coupa and BravoSolution? That is the next question - or perhaps the shareholders will be content with further steady progress, enlivened by the odd opportunistic acquisition - and nothing wrong with that strategy, we should emphasize.

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