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Coupa CEO details investment plans for new funding round

  • March 20, 2014
  • |
  • Rob Bernshteyn

  •  |
  • CEO


Today we announced that we have raised an additional $40 million investment in a round led by Meritech Capital Partners. We are proud to be able to say that all of our investors from the previous investment rounds also participated.


So, why raise money at this stage of the game?  Coupa has been cash flow positive in some recent quarters, we still have money in the bank, and we are executing according to plan. However, we saw an opportunity to take additional capital from an exceptional trusted investor to help us accelerate our business and to deliver on the huge opportunity we see before us.


We plan to spend the money on three things: additional research and development, international expansion, and removing any bottlenecks

to growth and ultimately driving unprecedented, measurable customer success.



From an R&D perspective, we have more than doubled our engineering bandwidth in the last nine months, as part of our commitment not only to organically growing the capabilities of our suite, but to the broader opportunity we see for spend optimization applications. We see how badly customers want a feature-rich suite of organically developed applications that are broad, deep, innovative, and fully pre-integrated at all levels of the technology stack. 


We want to be, and are on track to be, the default vendor in the industry that has one organically developed suite of spend optimization applications which directly addresses the problems our customers have, and ultimately gets them solved.


So, even though we’ve doubled R&D in the last nine months, we’re planning to double again in the next year.  We are planning to deliver deeper capabilities in inventory management, our suppler network, our core procurement application, our expense management application, our global invoicing capabilities, and much more which we’ll announce during the year.


We’ll also invest in the continued scalability of our expanding platform, in our integration capabilities both within the platform and with other ancillary platforms,

and in supporting the evolving complex global requirements that our customers are coming to us with.  We will deliver for them.


In every area, we will continue to reimagine the existing functional capabilities out there, and through our continued focus on innovation, we will significantly improve on what’s been done before, by others and by us.  This will require a continued focus on hiring only the most energetic and talented developers, QA, and user experience people we can find in Silicon Valley and in select areas of the world.


We’re also going to invest in global expansion, building on the traction we’ve gained outside the U.S. in the past two years.  We’ve had a great deal of success in Europe. We’ve had some good early success in Latin America and are getting off the ground Asia-Pacific.


We plan to invest in putting more people on the ground in each of these locations, in the functions of sales, marketing, product management, professional services and customer support.


We have our European headquarters in London, and a support center in Dublin, Ireland, where we are going to continue to expand.  We also have key employees in select European countries where we will continue to build out our operations.


We’ll also be investing in the bread and butter of running a SaaS business.  Wherever we see bottlenecks in our ability to execute, or areas of opportunity, we’ll make careful investments.  Whether that’s more professional services capacity, quality assurance resources, additional sales capacity or more customer support, we will continue to act instantly.


So that’s it. It’s about more and better platform capabilities, faster and broader global expansion, and additional careful investments across the business.  There was no fundraising imperative, except our own desire to lead the spend optimization industry in driving an unparalleled focus on customer success. The market is asking for this. Customers deserve this. This funding round will help us get there faster.


Rob Bernshteyn is CEO of Coupa.


Rob Bernshteyn

Rob Bernshteyn , Chief Executive Officer, Coupa


Rob is the Chief Executive Officer of Coupa, and drives the company’s strategy and execution. Rob has over two decades experience in the business software industry. He came to Coupa from SuccessFactors, where he ran Global Product Marketing & Management, as a member of the executive management team, as the company scaled from an early start up to a successful public company. Prior to that, Rob directed Product Management at Siebel Systems, where he helped build Siebel ERM into one of the company’s fastest growing product lines. Rob also did a stint in management consulting at McKinsey & Company, and spent four years at Accenture, where he focused on global SAP systems implementations.


Rob is a guest lecturer at Harvard and Stanford business schools, and a frequent contributor to Forbes and Fortune magazines. He can often be heard providing commentary on major news channels including Bloomberg and NPR. Rob earned a BS in Information Systems from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from Harvard Business School.