UPDATED 05:00 EDT / APRIL 26 2017

APPS

Ivalua raises $70M to help companies spend smarter

For a company that works with Michelin Corp., Whirlpool Corp. and some 250 other blue-chip organizations, Ivalua Inc. has managed to keep a surprisingly low profile. At least until now.

The spend management provider burst into the spotlight today after securing $70 million in funding from KKR & Co. L.P. The private equity fund is notable for its past investments in tech firms such as Sun Microsystems Inc. and NXP Semiconductors NV, which was acquired by Qualcomm Inc. last year for a hefty $47 billion.

KKR’s cash infusion will help Ivalua expand into new international markets with its namesake spend management suite. The platform consists of several integrated modules that cover every major aspect of corporate procurement operations, from supply agreements to outsourcing and other professional services deals. Topping it off is an analytics tool that aims to help companies find areas where they can reduce costs.

The software packs enough data-crunching features to function as a full-blown business intelligence tool, according to the company. Analysts can analyze expense data to find savings opportunities, compare suppliers in key business criteria and identify potential compliance violations. The latter feature is particularly useful for large companies with supply chains spread across multiple jurisdictions that each have their own regulations.   

Ivalua can be expected to expand its platform even further after today’s funding. The investment marks the latest in a series of high-profile capital raises by the spend management firm that can be viewed as an indicator of the segment’s growth. Previously, Coupa Software Inc. secured $133 million through a public offering that saw its share price more than double during the first few hours of trading thanks to strong investor demand.

The possibility of an IPO has most likely come up at Ivalua as well, given that it has been around since the dot-com era. However, its decision to take in private funding from KKR suggests that a public offering is probably awhile off.

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