Cork-based procurement technology firm Keelvar has raised $24 million (€23 million) in a Series B round, bringing the company’s funding to $43 million (€41.3 million).
eelvar was founded by former UCC lecturer in artificial intelligence (AI) Alan Holland. Its technology uses AI to help companies set up and solve supply chain problems.
The investment was led by UK-based venture capital firm 83 North. Keelvar’s Series A investors, including Elephant, Mosaic and Paua, participated, as did German-American software company Celonis co-founder Bastian Nomichacher.
The company says it has tripled its workforce in the past 18 months and doubled its revenue over the past year.
“Procurement is broken, costs are out of control, capacity is tight and disruptions are everywhere,” Holland said.
“This dynamic makes it incredibly difficult for buyers and suppliers to stay agile, manage risk and close deals. We see an immense opportunity to reduce economic and supply chain bottlenecks by making the procurement process simpler, faster and smarter.
“Our technology is fundamentally changing what’s possible by offering a new approach to intelligent automation and optimization.”
Keelvar counts Coca-Cola, Nestle, Samsung and Tesco among its customers and says the corporate giants use their technology to identify suppliers, control costs and make sourcing decisions.
The company plans to use the cash injection to expand in the US, a high-growth market for its technology. The goal, says Keelvar, is to make procurement automation seamless and a “no-code” experience.
“Businesses were caught off guard as the pandemic crippled the global supply chain,” said Philip Chopin, Partner at 83North. “As problems continue and show no sign of abating, C-suites are finally realizing that intelligent automation is a must.”
83North invests in five to six companies annually and has backed 14 unicorns, companies valued at over €1 billion.
“Keelvar offers a robust, proven and powerful optimization solution that is very easy to use,” said Brett Fultz, director of global analytics, global sourcing and supply chain for Coca-Cola.
“We started using the solution to manage one of our most complex categories, global transportation. The technology was so effective that we quickly expanded its use across our supply chain.”