Our Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Technology column reflects a number of significant recent announcements that depict an ongoing active cycle of tech developments.

Our most recent edition of this column was on November 3 and featured project44’s raising of an additional $420 million investment round.


Updates included in this edition include:

Coupa Software Entering Definitive Agreement to be Acquired

Trimble to Acquire Transporeon

Locus Robotics Raises an Additional $117 Million

Pactum Raises $20 Million in Funding



Coupa Software Enters Definitive Agreement to be Acquired

This week, supply chain management spend management technology provider Coupa Software entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in an all-cash transaction valued at upwards of $8 billion. The move also includes what is described as a significant minority investment by a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Upon approval and completion of this transaction, Coupa will become privately held.

In the published announcement of the agreement, Roger Siboni, Coupa’s lead independent director, indicated that the company took into consideration the current economic climate and decided it was a deal worth taking. “The Board evaluated the transaction against the company’s standalone prospects in the current macroeconomic climate and determined that the compelling and certain cash consideration in the transaction provides superior risk-adjusted value relative to the Company’s standalone prospects. The Board is unanimous in its belief this transaction is the optimal path forward and in the best interest of our shareholders.”

The transaction has reportedly been approved by the Board of Directors of Coupa and is expected to close in the first-half of 2023 subject to closing conditions including approval by Coupa shareholders, who will be compensated at $81 per share.

This action represents a reported 77 percent premium to the company’s closing stock price on November 22, 2022, the last full trading day prior to media reports involving a potential transaction.

Thoma Bravo has other noted investments in supply chain tech providers, including end-to-end transportation and logistics provider project 44 and aerospace industry Cloud platform provider Exostar. In 2016 the private equity firm acquired process industry B2B Cloud platform Elemica and then sold the tech provider to Eurozeo, a leading global investment company, after assisting in developing a Cloud native platform for Elemica.

The announcement further coincides with Coupa Software’s report of fiscal third quarter financial performance. Headlines of recent financial performance included quarterly revenues of $217 million, reflecting a 17 percent year-over year growth. However, GAAP net loss attributable to Coupa was $84.7 million, compared to a $91.2 million net loss for the year earlier period. Non GAAP net income in the latest quarter was reported as $11.6 million, compared to $23.5 million for the year earlier period. For the nine months ending on October 31, net operating loss was a cumulative $241.4 million, compared to $283 million in the year-earlier period.

In light of the announced definitive agreement, Coupa elected not to host an earnings briefing with investors or provide future financial guidance. The company’s stock price has been down 64 percent year-to-date

Reaction to this announcement has been swift. In its commentary, TechCrunch indicated in a news update that activist investors were taking the position that Coupa should not sell for less than $95 per share. Reportedly, another private equity company, Vista Equity Partners had interest. This report speculates that “HMI Capital, which owns 4.8 percent of Coupa stock, will lead the charge against the deal if the letter the firm published is any indication of its feelings about the company being undervalued at this price.”

Gartner senior analyst Koray Kose indicated on Twitter the growing operating losses of the company along with possibility of shareholder lawsuits, and characterized this deal as the biggest supply chain tech news of 2022.

Supply Chain Matters readers may recall that Coupa Software acquired supply chain design and analytics technology provider Llamasoft for a purchase price of approximately $1.5 billion in October 2020. Coupa’s stock trended down 7 percent on the news of this acquisition.

Supply Chain Matters will feature more in-depth commentary on this development at in a subsequent update.


Trimble to Acquire Transporeon in the Logistics and Transportation Technology Segment

Trimble, who’s stated goal is to connect the physical and digital aspects of the transportation and logistics industry, announced that it has agreed to acquire Cloud based transportation management provider Transporeon in an all cash transaction valued at €1.88 billion. The company will reportedly acquire Transporeon from Hg, a software and services investor and majority shareholder.

The Transporeon business will reportedly be part of Trimble’s Transportation business segment with the transaction expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

Founded in 2000, Germany based Transporeon provides a digital freight platform the supports more than 1,200 shippers, 100 large retailers, and over 120,000 logistics services providers and carriers. The company manages operations from eight different global office locations and can converse business in twenty-five different languages. The company’s technology aims to provide a holistic approach to transport management. It includes Transporeon Execution Solutions, procurement, and market intelligence offerings along with Sixfold, a real-time visibility capability aggregating live data from supply chains across Europe leveraging AI based technology. Reportedly, the tech provider has generated profitable growth over the prior 15 years.

In January of 2020, Trimble announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Kuebix for an undisclosed sum. Kuebix is described at the time as being a leading transportation management system (TMS) provider and creator of North America’s largest connected shipping community, consisting of more than 21,000 shipping companies.

This column’s last update relative to Transporeon was in October 2021 highlighting an announced partnership with sensor technology provider Roambee to enhance real-time transport visibility and carrier telematics visibility across two established Cloud-based networks.


Locus Robotics Raises an Additional $117 Million

Massachusetts based Locus Robotics, an autonomous logistics and warehouse management focused mobile robot (AMR) provider recently announced completion of a  $117 million in Series F funding, bringing the company’s valuation close to $2 billion.

This latest round was led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and G2 Venture Partners. As part of the financing, Mark Midle, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs, and Zach Barasz, Partner, G2 Venture Partners, will join the Locus Board of Directors. Also participating in the Series F round were Stack Capital Group,Next47, Stafford Capital Partners, HESTA, Newton Investment Management North America, Gray’s Creek Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Hercules Capital, Inc., BOND, and Scale Venture Partners.

The company has reportedly produced upwards of 10,000 robots that are in service among 250 customers. The tech provider leverages a “robots-as-a-service’’ business model. According to reporting by the Boston Globe, Locus presently generates $100 million a year in revenue, but hasn’t reached positive cash flow yet. That milestone is expected in the next 18 months.

According to Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, the new round of funding marks an important inflection point for the company as it seeks to enter its next stage of growth.

In October of 2021, Locus announced that securing of $50 million in funding from existing investor Tiger Global Management, adding to a prior Series E investment made by Tiger. Locus further announced the acquisition of Waypoint Robotics, a provider of industrial-strength, autonomous, omnidirectional mobile robots. This acquisition aimed to broaden Locus’s line of AMR capabilities to support scenarios requiring automation of heavier loads and fulfillment modalities.


Pactum Raises $20 Million in Funding

Bloomberg reported last week that a group of investors led by 3VC, including the venture investment arm of global container shipping firm Maersk is providing $20 million in funding for Silicon Valley based Pactum.

The tech provider provides AI enabled software that helps companies such as Walmart automate routine supplier negotiations. Reportedly: “..during peak disruptions last year, Maersk and Pactum worked to resolve severe capacity imbalances in the spot trucking market. Pactum’s machine learning stepped in to analyze routes, propose prices to the best truckers and secure capacity.” Reportedly, Walmart International conducted a pilot program to automate some supplier negotiations using this start-up’s technology.

According to the company’s website: “Pactum works with businesses worldwide, helping enterprises and their suppliers reach better commercial agreements through autonomous negotiations. Our client stories show how AI-powered negotiations bring improvements to companies and suppliers, regardless of industry or geographical location.”


This concludes our latest edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech. With this wave of announcements equating to over $9.7 billion, the prospects for a  continued robust cycle of announcements in 2023 appears likely.

A note to readers: Supply Chain Matters will feature this column periodically as announcements warrant.


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