Contingent: Supplier Insight platform Contingent raises $8.2m to fix broken procurement processes

Opinion 16.03.2022

Contingent: Supplier Insight platform Contingent raises $8.2m to fix broken procurement processes

Contingent, the Supplier Insight platform that makes procurement easy for the whole business, today announces it has successfully completed an $8.2m funding round.

  • The ProcureTech company has announced a funding round led by Octopus Ventures
  • Cloud-based platform helps companies procure more strategically, and better manage supply chain risk and compliance
  • The funding will be used to develop a suite of SaaS applications and to enable international expansion
  • Contingent’s global customer base has been growing at 10x p.a. and includes companies such as Monzo, Seagate, Huel, Barratt Developments plc and HM Government

The round was led by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest and most active early-stage investors with participation from Connect Ventures, Concentric, Seedcamp, Ascension, and Working Capital Innovation Fund.

How Contingent is re-inventing procurement:

Despite being core to how all businesses operate, 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.

Contingent’s mission is to fundamentally change how procurement is done, helping companies reduce friction and increase resilience, while empowering procurement teams to make the right choices and partner more closely with the wider business.

Easy to use and simple to set up, Contingent’s lightweight and proactive real-time insights tool fits seamlessly into an organisation’s existing procurement workflow and technology ecosystem, and provides the answers the team needs to act.

The funding will be used to continue building out Contingent’s suite of modular SaaS applications, with a particular focus on meeting the growing demand for more transparent and ethical supply chains. In addition, with strong global demand for its services, the company is actively looking to expand into the US and across Europe, and will be rapidly hiring into its product, engineering, and commercial teams over the coming months.

The growing demand for resilience and transparency:

Fred Ellis, Investor, Octopus Ventures, believes the need for companies to be more strategic in the way they procure goods and services has now become a board-level priority and can be a source of competitive advantage. “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.”

Paarul Dudeja, Managing Partner, Working Capital Supply Chain Fund, which is backed by the likes of The Walt Disney Company, Apple and Zalando to solve exactly these types of problems, adds that “Regulators, business partners, and customers are increasingly demanding higher ethical standards and more transparency through the supply chain. This has put greater focus on understanding who companies do business with, which is creating additional friction with more documentation to be collected, and more risks to stay on top of.”

Tai Alegbe, Co-Founder and CEO of Contingent, says “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 pot luck 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.”

Rory Stirling, Partner, Connect Ventures, comments: “Procurement and supply chain management have been overlooked for too long, served by clunky, legacy technology. An exciting ecosystem of cloud tools connected by APIs is emerging and there’s a huge opportunity to improve the status quo, and recognise the procurement team as the heroes they are. We’re excited to continue backing Contingent and the role they will play in developing this space.”

Contingent’s customer base has grown tenfold:

Launched in 2020, Contingent was conceived, designed, and built by a team of risk technology veterans and AI researchers operating at the bleeding edge of supply chain risk, data, and computer science and compliance, due diligence and screening risk. Together, they built the world’s first SaaS product that provides a quick, complete, up-to-date analysis of suppliers and businesses, thereby helping firms comply with regulation, reducing third-party risk exposure, and improving team efficiency.

Steven McGeagh, Senior Procurement Manager at Huel, says “There is an ever increasing amount of focus on risk management within supply chains and Contingent provides us with a platform to capture the key areas of risk. As we put more of a spotlight on ESG, the team at Contingent is continuously improving the platform, its features and coverage, which supports us as we continue to grow as a business.”

This takes the company’s total funding to date to $11m with previous investment led by Connect Ventures and including participation from Seedcamp, Concentric, and Angel Invest Ventures. Contingent’s global customer base has been growing at over 10x p.a. and the platform is used by procurement and supply chain teams at companies such as Monzo, Seagate, Huel, Barratt Developments plc, and HM Government.

Today, the Contingent platform covers a wide range of insight domains to meet procurement, third party risk and regulatory requirements around financial stability, ownership, legal, compliance, quality, cyber, and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance).

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