Melbourne procurement startup VendorPanel raises $2.35 million led by Microequities Venture Capital

- August 22, 2018 2 MIN READ

Melbourne procurement startup VendorPanel has raised $2.35 million in a Series A round led by Microequities Venture Capital, with participation from Aconex founders Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot.

The funding will go towards furthering product development and growth, with VendorPanel looking to international expansion.

Focused on the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government spaces, VendorPanel was founded in 2008 and launched in 2010 by CEO James Leathem to make it easier for staff to get competitive quotes from suppliers and verified marketplaces.

Leathem had seen the need for such a solution while working as a managing partner and shareholder in a professional services firm; here, he worked with clients such as ANZ and Fairfax, who outsourced the administration of much of their procurement to the firm.

He previously told Startup Daily, “I was hugely frustrated by the inefficiencies, risks, inconsistent outcomes, and lack of creative solutions in procurement.”

With the startup now counting more than 1,200 clients, among them state governments through to universities, utility companies, and local councils, VendorPanel reported it is managing over $2.4 billion in low-value procurement.

“The team at Microequities Venture Capital are known for the support and value they bring to management teams and, in Leigh and Rob, we are fortunate to have investors who have been down the road of building a fast-growing, world-beating SaaS company,” Leathem said.

Justin Lipman of Microequities Venture Capital, who will join the startup’s board as part of the funding, said the firm has been impressed with the business that the VendorPanel team has built so far.

“VendorPanel’s vision and expertise are helping to simplify procurement. Over 1,000 organisations have seen the benefits so far, which indicates to us that VendorPanel’s technology is genuinely solving an industry-wide pain point and tells us that this space is ready for change,” he said.

Recently named a Top 20 Business of Tomorrow by Westpac, VendorPanel is already active internationally. The startup last year partnered with the City of Prince Albert council in Canada’s Saskatchewan province to help develop a regional approach to procurement.

Microequities Venture Capital, meanwhile, last invested in Snooper, a mystery shopper-style app app that sets consumers ‘missions’ that give brands and retailers a cost-effective way to monitor the execution of their sales and marketing strategies in stores.

Image: the VendorPanel team. Source: Supplied.