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The supply chain — which affects businesses from individual retailers to marketplaces, as well as product sellers — shows no sign of easing up in the midst of historic, pandemic-prompted headwinds. In a recent Oracle survey, 87% of people said that they’ve been negatively impacted by supply chain issues over the past year, with many unable to purchase certain items due to shortages, forced to cancel orders, and even rationing essentials. Statista reports that supply chain disruptions will cost organizations around the world an average of $184 million per year if the current trends hold.
Supply chain issues are often exacerbated by a lack of quality supplier data. Despite heavy investments in digital transformation, companies have been challenged with supplier information that’s siloed, stalled, incomplete, or unusable. Only 6% of companies report full visibility on their supply chain, according to Zippia, which is perhaps why over 40% told Statista they want to invest in supply chain technologies.
TealBook, a supply chain data platform based in Toronto, Canada, is one of the suppliers of these technologies. Started in 2019 by the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, and Allbirds, the company gained traction in the supply chain visibility software market, securing customers including Dropbox, LinkedIn, Virginia Tech University, Rutgers University, and the U.K. government.
“TealBook’s vision is to advance the world through supplier data,” founder and CEO Stephany Lapierre told VentureBeat via email. “Tealbook uses advanced technologies like AI and machine learning to collect and aggregate vast amounts of supplier data across millions of sources to create a universal supplier profile becoming the trusted source of supplier data. When activated by an enterprise, it autonomously enriches, synchronizes, and unifies data across all suppliers.”
AI for supply chain insights
TealBook uses AI to update data across suppliers, offering a view of an organization’s supplier base and outreach capabilities. For each supplier, the platform spotlights descriptions, products and services, and similar suppliers. It provides sales and executive contact info, ethical and sustainable practices, revenue projections, and reviews.
TealBook crawls over 400 million websites, cataloging and aggregating data as it gathers information from sources across the web. The company’s partner network canvasses over 600 “concealed” databases and organizations like Ivalua, Jaggaer, Beroe, and Noosh, making a best effort to capture and maintain changing supplier information.
“With minimal implementation required, TealBook offers an enhanced and consolidated view of an organization’s entire supplier base, valuable insights, reporting, supplier search, and outreach capabilities,” Lapierre added. “TealBook can integrate with existing enterprise resource management and e-procurement solutions to automate data enrichment, which reduces the cost and resources associated with recurring services, integrations, and supplier self-updated portals. TealBook can also be deployed to buyers across the organization to access updated and complete information about existing suppliers as well as quickly find new, diverse, sustainable, and local suppliers to meet increasingly complex requirements of their organization.”
TealBook competes with companies like Altana AI, a startup building a knowledge base for global supply chain networks. It has another rival in Paxafe, which offers visibility into business-to-business supply chains with a platform that uses AI and machine learning to classify and contextualize supply chain data.
According to McKinsey & Company, the adoption of AI in supply chains can potentially deliver an additional global economic activity of around $13 trillion by 2030.
“The pandemic laid bare the critical issues impacting procurement, as enterprises and governments needed to find personal protective equipment and pivot manufacturing. While they had spent millions of dollars on software, they were not able to access the data on existing or alternative suppliers to respond fast enough to the market and business demands exacerbated by the pandemic,” Lapierre added. “TealBook has the opportunity to be a market leader, helping organizations gain supplier visibility and insights with an out-of-the-box solution to solve the problem of poor supplier data that impacts both the top and bottom lines.”
In a show of investor confidence, TealBook today raised $50 million in series B funding ($10 million of which is debt) led by Ten Coves Capital, BDC Capital, Grand Ventures, RBC Ventures, Reciprocal Ventures, Refinery Ventures, S&P Global, Stand Up Ventures, RTP Global, Workday Ventures, CIBC Ventures, and Good Friends. It brings the roughly-100-person-company’s total capital raised to more than $73 million, which founder and Lapierre says will be used to accelerate TealBook’s data roadmap, introduce partnerships and integrations, and expand the team to fuel expansion.
“In the last 12 months, TealBook has seen a two times growth in customers while opening new sectors including technology, real estate, insurance, consumer packaged goods, food production, and power and utilities, further proving TealBook is an industry agnostic solution,” Lapierre said. “TealBook has also seen significant new and expansion growth in financial services and pharmaceuticals.”
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