Money and brains is a dangerous combination . . . for COUPA’s competitors

Posted on February 15, 2011


“Adoption of the Coupa Cloud Spend Management Platform exploded in 2010 with monthly recurring revenue growing 156% year-over-year, placing Coupa among the fastest-growing software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.”

Terms such as developer of category-disrupting cloud spend management (CSM) solutions, delivering a level of visibility and control over spending that never existed before through innovations such as consolidated executive dashboards, are certainly attention grabbing statements.  A Madison Avenue type of sizzle as one industry pundit put it not that long ago, when he reprimanded me for my hyperbole use of terminology such as intelligent executive dashboards.

But here’s the thing, and you cannot get around it as the Oracle days of pre-booking future revenues under a traditional licensing model is not a viable model in the it needs to work before you get paid SaaS-world . . . a 156% year-over-year growth in recurring monthly revenue speaks volumes!

This level of increasing revenue in the SaaS world clearly demonstrates that not only is the solution working, and working well, but that it is starting to garner (with increasing frequency), mainstream acceptance.

Of course from a COUPA standpoint, the company’s solution has always demonstrated the fact that they had the brains in terms of understanding and responding to the changing market realities relating to end user spend visibility and intelligence requirements.  However, and through the growing market acceptance that is commensurate with outstanding performance, the company now has some serious money to go along with the aforementioned smarts.

While this isn’t the first time that the giant killer from San Mateo California has raised money, in the fall of 2009 the company had raised what was referred to as a healthy $7.5 Million in Series C round of funding, one can only imagine what they will be able to achieve with the newly printed $12 million Series D round of funding that will be used to accelerate the transformation of the e-procurement and expense management industry?!

COUPA it should be noted, isn’t the first SaaS vendor to break the glass ceiling of the ERP-centric mindset that for so many years dominated the purchasing intelligence landscape under the auspices that gaining visibility into a company’s spend was a complex process in which only the most highly trained specialists could crack the code of enlightenment.  But they are amongst the most notable relative to revenue increase and client base growth.

It is through this breakthrough of revenue and the subsequent $12 million funding that the competitive market will feel the true effects of its disruptive innovation.

As ERP vendors such as the SAPs of the world limp along on what industry analysts have called life support, paying higher prices to gain an increasing share of a diminishing market through desperate acquisitions . . . the thought of a buggy whip company comes to mind here, the COUPA’s of the world are becoming a stronger and more formidable presence.

Hmmm . . . and to think, in my day a COUPA-type application would be referred to (in a denigratory and dismissive manner I might add) as a simple “bolt on” solution for a company’s ERP platform.

These are indeed the best of times . . .