Suplari is applying artificial intelligence technology to the software procurement process as a way to help companies save money and reduce risk.
The Seattle startup today announced a $10.3 million Series A investment round led by Shasta Ventures, with participation from Two Sigma Ventures and Workday Ventures. Previous investors Madrona Venture Group and Amplify Partners also participated.
Suplari raised a $3.1 million seed round last year and remained in stealth mode until now. The 18-person company revealed more about its technology that helps Fortune 1000 companies spot hidden costs with how they purchase and maintain various software contracts, invoices, purchase orders, accounts payable, and more.
Suplari sits on top of different enterprise applications, aggregating and normalizing millions of data points. It then applies machine learning and AI to identify inefficiencies within a procurement process.
“All this data sitting within a company largely goes unanalyzed,” said Suplari CEO Nikesh Parekh.
The company said it has helped customers consolidate $200 million in professional service and temporary labor supplier costs, and reduced software licensing fees by 33 percent.
Use cases include business units that are purchasing multiple licenses from different vendors for the same service, or identifying abuse of a travel and expense system. Suplari also helps companies ensure they are compliant with policies and regulations.
“We help support procurement teams and make their lives easier and simpler so they can focus on helping business partners instead of struggling with data,” Parekh said.
There is certainly a big market opportunity for Suplari. Worldwide cloud spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is expected to reach $160 billion in 2018, up 23.2 percent from last year, according to IDC.
Suplari is one of several new companies using machine learning to help customers analyze data and identify inefficiencies within their business. For example, Seattle startup MetricStory raised cash earlier this week for its technology that helps e-commerce companies extract more value from their Google Analytics data.
“We believe AI based technologies provide a massive opportunity for enterprises to be more efficient and more profitable,” Shasta Ventures Managing Director Ravi Mohan, who will join Suplari’s board, said in a statement.
Parekh said many of Suplari’s competitors sell software to manage workflow and transactions.
“We are about providing intelligence to predict what’s next,” he noted.
Gerber is a long-time engineering leader who co-founded startups like iConclude (acquired by Opsware and later by HP) and most recently helped lead Apptio’s machine learning and intelligent app development before the company went public in 2016.
White worked with Gerber at iConclude as an early employee; he has experience working at places like Amazon Web Services and SkyTap.
There are connections between the three founders and Madrona, one of the region’s top VC firms. Gerber previously worked at three separate Madrona-backed companies; White worked for two Madrona-backed companies; Parekh was an entrepreneur-in-residence at the firm a decade ago.
Shasta and Madrona were investors in Apptio. Shasta, which also invested in iConclude, recently led a separate Series A round for Seattle-based startup Skilljar.
Suplari plans to add another 12 employees this year. Total funding to date is $13.5 million.