Shaping the Future of Business Spend Management: Introducing Coupa Ventures

J.J. Freitag
J.J. Freitag
SVP Corporate Development and Managing Director, Coupa Ventures

J.J. is SVP and leader of Corporate Development at Coupa Software and the Managing Director of Coupa Ventures, Coupa's $50M strategic venture fund. He is also a strategic advisor for several independent software companies and has led them through strategic financing and acquisitions. Prior to his time at Coupa, he was COO at SlideRocket, an Azure Portfolio company, purchased by VMWare in April 2011 and then sold to ClearSlide in March 2013.

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The events of the last 12 months have shined a light on the massive opportunity to accelerate digital transformation efforts in the back office as companies look to create more resilient, agile, and efficient practices. Every day, we talk to business leaders who are ready to leave behind the outdated, decades-old technology tools for more modern solutions that will allow them to do their jobs in smarter, more collaborative ways.

Coupa has always been focused on creating a future where businesses — and their suppliers — are able to harness the power of their spend to constantly adapt, transform, and innovate. Today, I’m excited to announce another big step we are taking in realizing that vision through Coupa Ventures,  a $50 million fund to foster the next generation of Business Spend Management companies that share our vision of breaking down the inefficiencies around how businesses manage their spend.

Who are we investing in?

With Coupa Ventures, we’re investing in companies that are paving the way for back-office transformation, aligning processes and decisions that companies are making across their procurement, finance, and supply chain teams.

Specifically, we’re looking for portfolio companies that focus on the following categories:

  • AI and Analytics — Supplier and spend analytics companies that enable companies to understand and use their spend and supplier performance data as a competitive advantage.
  • Supply Chain — Companies that implement supply chain analytics to manage and report on performance of suppliers and enable organizations to achieve supply chain resiliency, thus predicting and responding to supply chain disruptions with agility.
  • Office of CFO — Tools for finance to drive visibility into financial planning, enable better predicability of spend forecasts, and provide analysis of financial information.
  • IT Spend Optimization — Companies that provide benchmark data on IT spend, best in class contract management, and accurate insight into usage data for applications, servers, and platforms across the organization
  • B2B Payments — Products that are innovating on flexible payment methods within the enterprise to drive innovation for buyers and suppliers.
  • Data and Application Integration — Products that aggregate data across enterprise systems to enable full visibility into spend and feed an organization's spend management process.
  • ESG, Diversity and Inclusion, Supplier Performance Management — Tools to enable organizations to access and take action on robust information about current or potential suppliers, facilitating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.
  • Workforce Spend — Companies that are innovating on how organizations manage employee spend to get predicability and insight into one of the top drivers of global business spend.

Business Spend Management is a growing and evolving space, and the list above is not exhaustive of all of the potential ideas related to business spend optimization. If you’re working on an idea in a related category, please feel free to reach out!

Our initial investments

As part of today’s announcement, I’m thrilled to welcome the first two companies into the Coupa Venture’s portfolio: Zylo and SourceDay.

Zylo is a leading SaaS management platform helping companies manage and optimize cloud-based applications. SaaS Application Spend Management is one of the fastest growing categories in the market, and their platform provides organizations with visibility into what software is being used, how much is spent, and how to optimize their SaaS investments. Zylo has been a Coupa partner for more than two years, and we have always been impressed with their ability to bring together purchasing solutions with SaaS analytics

SourceDay is redefining supplier collaboration for direct materials procurement, a growing need in the market. We worked with Tom and the SourceDay team for years and are certain that SourceDay is a perfect complement to Coupa to ensure end-to-end, on-time delivery of goods and revenue assurance as part of any supplier management initiative. Our joint customers are already saving tens of millions of dollars by integrating our solutions within their organizations.

With both of these investments, and all potential investments in the future, we will be working hand-in-hand with well-known industry investors such as Bessemer Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Baird Capital, and Draper Associates, among others. We have long established relationships with these partners, and we're excited to continue to work together to be able to offer our portfolio companies unique benefits, access, and exposure.

Sign me up! What comes next?

Are you passionate about helping companies spend their money more efficiently? Do you stay up late contemplating how to optimize a supply chain for buyers and suppliers? Is it important to you that buyers and suppliers can collaborate directly on the terms that they want to pay and be paid?

If you answered yes to those questions, we want to hear from you! We’re looking for early- and growth-stage companies that want to knock down the walls of traditional Business Spend Management and usher in the next generation of solutions with ease of use, open standards, and AI and analytics as the driving force.

If this sounds like you, we encourage you to visit our website for more information on how to apply, or send an email to [email protected].

We’re looking for applications that includes the following information: 

  1. A 10–12 slide pitch deck that includes:
    1. Overview of the customer problem your product solves.
    2. Details on how you’re solving that problem.
    3. Information on what makes your solution unique in the market. What gives your product a competitive advantage?
    4. Share what makes your company and team standout to take on this challenge.
  2. Provide details on your financing history and current financial overview.
  3. A link to a pre-recorded product demo.