Cork-based Keelvar raises $ 24m to scale up supply chain software in the US

Cork-based procurement technology firm Keelvar has raised $ 24m (€ 23m) in a Series B round that takes the company funding to $ 43m (€ 41.3m).

eelvar was founded by former UCC artificial intelligence (AI) lecturer Alan Holland. Its technology uses AI to help companies set up and sort out supply chain issues.

The investment was led by the UK-based venture capital firm 83 North. Keelvar’s Series A investors, including Elephant, Mosaic and Paua, also participated, as did the co-founder of the German-American software firm Celonis, Bastian Nomichacher.

The company says it has tripled its headcount in the last 18 months and doubled its revenue last year.

“Procurement is broken, costs are out of control, capacity is scarce and disruptions are everywhere,” Mr Holland said.

“This dynamic makes it incredibly difficult for buyers and suppliers to remain agile, manage risk and strike deals. We see an immense opportunity to alleviate economic and supply chain bottlenecks by making the sourcing process easier, faster and more intelligent.

“Our technology fundamentally changes what’s possible by offering a new approach to intelligent automation and optimization.”

Keelvar counts Coca-Cola, Nestle, Samsung and Tesco as customers, saying that the corporate giants use its technology to identify suppliers, control costs and make sourcing decisions.

It plans to use the cash injection to scale up in the US, a high growth market for its technology. The goal, Keelvar says, is to make sourcing automation frictionless and a “no-code” experience.

“Enterprises were blindsided when the pandemic shut down the global supply chain,” said Philip Chopin, partner at 83North. “As issues persist and show no sign of relenting, c-suites are finally recognizing that intelligent automation is a must-have.”

83North invests in five to six companies per year and has backed 14 ‘unicorns’, firms with a value of over € 1bn.

“Keelvar provides a robust, proven and powerful optimization solution that’s very easy to use,” said Brett Fultz, director of global analytics, global procurement and supply chain at Coca-Cola.

“We started leveraging the solution to help manage one of our most complex categories, global transport. The technology was so effective we quickly expanded its use across our supply chain. ”

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