First off, we both want to say a huge thank you to the incredible team here at Contingent. One of the things we are most proud of to date is the team of superheroes across Tech, Product, Risk and Commercial that we have assembled. Without you guys, we wouldn’t have achieved what we have so far, and have such a bright future ahead! And of course, our thanks and admiration extends to our customers that have partnered with us on our journey so far. We have co-built the Contingent platform, on the back of your insights and feedback. Because of your efforts, we have a clear mission, a clear roadmap and now, the fuel to get us there.
So, what have we learnt? Having worked with Procurement and Supply Chain teams very closely over the last twenty months, it is very clear to us here at Contingent that there is far too much friction in the process of procuring goods and services, and companies are often left unaware of the potential risks accompanying their decisions.
That’s why we’re very excited to announce this latest round of funding, led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from Connect Ventures, Concentric, Seedcamp, Ascension, and Working Capital Innovation Fund. The $8.2m raised puts us one step closer on our mission to:
Make procurement easy for the whole business.
From discussions with our early adopters, the likes of Monzo, Seagate and HM Government, we started to realise the scale of the challenge and just how much hard work procurement teams were going through - often with little recognition!
Since then our customer base has grown 10x p.a and over the last twenty months, we have gained more clarity on just how much this friction and lack of visibility impacts procurement/supply chain teams at companies large and small, throughout the supplier lifecycle.
Take supplier onboarding for example:
The typical questionnaire process to onboard suppliers is widely accepted to be fundamentally broken. A huge amount of buyer and seller time and resources are wasted in collecting information from suppliers, most of which is rarely read. It’s hard to spot risks, with companies reliant on supplier self-certification, and with no time or information to verify claims.
Teams are then usually entirely reliant on word-of-mouth or potluck to know if anything changes, usually finding out too late, resulting in them reacting to issues rather than being able to be proactive. The only antidote to this, historically, is to repeat the document collection periodically to ‘refresh’ the process. Teams want to invest their time and energy in understanding whether the product or service can meet their goals, not on whether the supplier meets internal or external requirements.
Customers, regulators and business partners have all been clamouring for more transparency across the supply chain, which of course has contributed to this friction (added documentation, audits, regulation, internal mandates etc). But here at Contingent, we’re keenly aware that concerns over transparency and resilience must be addressed. The two problems have to be tackled simultaneously.
As our good friend, Fred Ellis at Octopus Ventures, puts it, this is a board-level priority and “All over the world, companies are re-thinking how and where they procure goods and services. Supply chains are becoming more interconnected, global, dynamic, and unpredictable, increasing the risk of supply disruption, and associated financial losses”.
So, a significant challenge and a huge opportunity for reinvention! And that’s what makes this latest round of investment even sweeter - it is a testament to the great success our exceptional team has already achieved in this space. This latest round of investment will help us build on our team, as well as the suite of SaaS applications that are out there making heroes of the procurement teams at: Monzo, Seagate, Huel, Barratt Developments plc, and HM Government.
Watch this space!