Thankful, a California-based CX startup, has raised $12 Million in Series A funding to expand its AI-Driven customer service platform.Read More
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Conexiom, a Vancouver, Canada-based company developing workflow automation software for manufacturers and distributors, today announced it has raised $130 million in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus, with participation from Luminate Capital and Iconiq Growth. The funds bring Conexiom’s total raised to date to roughly $170 million, and CEO Ray Grady says the money will be put toward platform R&D
Conexiom, a Vancouver, Canada-based company developing workflow automation software for manufacturers and distributors, today announced it has raised $130 million in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus, with participation from Luminate Capital and Iconiq Growth. The funds bring Conexiom’s total raised to date to roughly $170 million, and CEO Ray Grady says the money will be put toward platform R&D and hiring.
Annually, more than $15 trillion dollars of order-to-cash and procure-to-pay transactions are processed manually in North America and Europe. Although companies spend billions each year on digital transformation initiatives, approximately 50% of business-to-business transactions still involve emailing documents between buyers and sellers and manually keying data into systems.
Founded in 2001, Conexiom aims to deliver automated processing capabilities that turn unstructured data into “touchless” transactions. The platform automates invoices, vendor documents, order acknowledgements, requests for quotes, special pricing agreements, and more, delivering key data into enterprise resource management (ERM) systems and other databases of record.
Above: Conexiom’s workflow automation platform.Image Credit: Conexiom
“Conexiom’s customers face growing challenges that are accelerating the need for automation solutions. Our platform is mission-critical to our customers, helping them automate and scale their order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes,” Grady said in a press release. “This investment is great validation of our people, platform, and market leadership and will help us accelerate product investment to meet growing market demand.”
For example, Conexiom can automatically capture data from a purchase order and translate it into a sales order within an ERP system. Grady claims that for McNaughton-McKay, whose customers place multiple orders a week with 70 line items or more on average, it has brought order processing time down to minutes rather than hours.
“Our staff is as good as it gets, but they’re human. Mistakes are going to happen, which meant our teams needed to carve out time for returns, exchanges, and rebills when they were already overloaded,” McNaughton-McKay senior project manager Denny Wyss said in a statement. “The part that impresses me most is Conexiom’s ability to take a manual order process and reduce the time spent on it to virtually nothing.”
The workflow automation market was valued at $8.07 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $39.49 billion by 2027, climbing at a compound annual growth rate of 23.68% from 2020 to 2027. The pandemic is responsible for the uptick, particularly in manufacturing, where it drove businesses to digitally automate what were previously repetitive, offline manual tasks. According to a recent survey commissioned by Google, two-thirds of manufacturers using AI in their operations report that their reliance on AI has increased. Even among firms that currently don’t use AI, about a third believe it would make employees more efficient and be helpful for employees overall, according to Google.
In some respects, Conexiom competes with sales automation platforms like Revenue Grid that have raised tens of millions in venture capital to date. Forrester reports that over 30% of all business-to-business companies adopted AI to improve at least one of their main sales workflows, as of last year. RightBound offers a platform to automate back-office sales processes. Rival SugarCRM provides a predictive AI engine for marketing automation.
But since Luminate bought a majority stake in Conexiom in 2018, the company has grown over 6 times in size and now processes over $100 billion in business-to-business transactions annually, with customers including Chevron and HP. Conexiom doubled its headcount in 2020 and plans to focus on growing its engineering, account management, and account services teams across offices in Ontario, London, Munich, and Chicago.
“As the demand for software-as-a-service-based systems grows, we continue to see significant growth opportunity for companies like Conexiom. Our investment underscores our long-term commitment to investing strategically in market-leading, business-to-business software businesses,” Warburg Pincus managing director Justin Sadrian said in a press release.VentureBeat
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Leena AI, an AI-powered conversational platform used by major enterprises such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, and P&G, has raised $30 million in a series B round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners.Read More
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Avenue launched Friday to give operations their own tools to monitor teams, and is building a “command center” for this area of business that is often forgotten, co-founder and CEO Justin Bleuel told TechCrunch.
In addition to the launch the company is announcing $4 million in seed funding, led by Accel, with participation from Flexport and a group of individual investors from companies like Coinbase, Uber, Stripe and Thumbtack.
Bleuel and his co-founder, Jeff Barg, grew up building iOS apps together and then went their separate ways, Bleuel to Uber and Barg to Amazon. While at Uber, Bleuel was working on observability — passive or proactive monitoring — building a lot of the tools in-house to monitor the marketplace for data like rider experience.
Both saw an opening to build these tools themselves for operations teams, and Avenue was born. The technology enables business teams to set up alerts to observe when there is a problem with data, act on it correctly and improve how the overall team functions, think “Datadog or PagerDuty for operations teams,” Bleuel said.
“Data is now all centralized in data warehouses, so you can build on top of them in a way you could not before, like Fivetran, and activate off of it,” he added. “You used to have to build one-to-one alerts for each tool, but now we can actively direct them from the warehouse.”
Avenue dashboard. Image Credits: Avenue
The company, founded in 2020, came out of the Y Combinator winter 2021 cohort, and one of its early customers is food pickup service Snackpass, which is using Avenue to monitor uptime and receive notifications when restaurant partners, for example, have an ordering tablet battery die or lose Wi-Fi. Snackpass is able to contact the location and help them figure out why they went offline. As a result, the company was able to cut the percentage of offline stores in half, Bleuel said.
Avenue’s customer sweet spot is marketplace companies or warehouses for monitoring stock. However, the co-founders are also seeing their technology being used by other companies, like furniture delivery companies, to monitor for reliability or know their inventory levels. Customers are also packaging up reports and sharing them with other internal teams on how to improve operations.
The company intends to use the funding to build on its small team of three, especially in engineering to be able to go to market with new products, Barg said.
Avenue is working with more than 50 companies and since April has sent out over 200,000 alerts. The company’s model bills customers per alert per month, and the team is looking at a freemium model as well as enterprise levels.
Meanwhile, Amit Kumar, partner at Accel, said via email the firm is “very thesis-driven,” one of them being the modern data stack. Accel made early investments into companies like Airbyte, Monte Carlo and Privacer, and saw opportunity for new downstream applications based on the innovation, of which Avenue stood out.
The combination of Bleuel and Barg was “particularly compelling because of their fluency with the problem space” due to their backgrounds at Uber and Amazon and experiencing firsthand how “poorly served” operations teams are and how that can affect the overall business.
He believes the current approach of ops teams in the market today relies heavily on dashboarding, periodic sweeps and color-coded Excel sheets — a process that is “often inaccurate and disorganized.” At the same time, product engineers were flush with well-established tools around observability and incident response.
“Given the rise of ‘atoms’ startups powered by a cohort of ex-Uber and ex-Amazon operators, Justin and Jeff were uniquely positioned to find early design partners and customers among their peer networks,” Kumar added. “As ops teams become both increasingly commonplace and essential to business outcomes, I expect their processes to mature and benefit from similar tooling. This is the thesis behind Avenue, and early traction indicates that next-gen leading ops-heavy companies agree.”
Bay Area-based autonomous farming startup Iron Ox this week announced a $53 million round. The Series C, led by Breakthrough Energy Venture, brings the firm’s total funding up to $98 million.Read More
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