Coupa IPO brings attention to supply chain integration
With the recent Coupa (COUP) IPO, our corner of the business world got a little well-deserved financial media attention.
We toil in a part of the business landscape that sometimes seems like a backwater mudflat compared to the torrent of technology change rushing by in other segments. But the Coupa IPO illustrates that what we do is recognized by folks that also matter: Institutional investors.
The overall market is growing at a rate of about 10% CAGR, with a total market of roughly $10 billion, according to a Gartner report on global supply chain and procurement market for software.
That figure may not be as big as, say, CRM or consumer electronics, but it’s big enough to warrant the money guys adding Coupa to their portfolios. Why? Because this business is growing and evolving to meet changing software needs in supply chain management.
While the plaudits are nice for the industry, they merely hint at what’s possible. Consider the pop Coupa’s share price experienced despite their technological limitations. It speaks volumes to the value younger, agile competitors can bring to the industry.
Compare Tradeshift with Coupa. Coupa is a single-tool player focused solely on procurement. It’s a narrow solution. To do anything else, you need another tool. From a different vendor.
In contrast, we offer an end-to-end business commerce platform – that means our solutions can handle procurement, plus processes like e-invoicing, risk management, direct materials, and supply chain financing. And you can add your own apps to our open platform. Out of the box, Tradeshift comes with integrated procure-to-pay functionality. If you need to add something custom, or want to deploy apps from our Appstore, it’s easy. Our solution is completely extensible.
Coupa, and other limited-function players, are analogous to old flip phones. Back then, if you wanted more functionality, you waited for the next hardware update. Tradeshift is the smartphone of supply chain software integration tools – it’s flexible, upgradeable, and capable.
Furthermore, Coupa does not have an actual network. They have a one-to-many solution. Coupa customers can’t reuse their deployments for other processes. In that regard, we compete more closely with SAP Ariba than we do with Coupa.
Still, the Coupa IPO is a great thing for our industry, but the company is far from being the only game in town.
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