The news that OB10 is to go public broke last night – actually a little prematurely – but now it’s official and Tungsten and OB10 have announced their intentions. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with a delighted Luke McKeever, OB10′s CEO, earlier today to understand the details of the deal that values OB10 at £99 million.
Actually, the details are a little mundane – their IPO is of course subject to raising the cash – but assuming they do it will be used to buy out existing shareholders, to build bigger better infrastructure and technology and bolster Express Payments with funds to directly fund some new and innovative supply chain finance offerings.
“That’s not mundane” you might think – but it is – it’s positively pedestrian compared to what Luke told me they are going to be doing in addition to all of this.
OK – even the IPO isn’t really mundane and I’m genuinely excited for the OB10 management team who have pulled off a brilliant deal with Tungsten. And make no mistake, this is no “exit” for the founders. This is just the next step. Even some of the old private investors are keen to retain in share in what is promised to be an exciting future.
So what was it that Luke mentioned that made that all fade into mundanity? It is this – spend analytics.
Tungsten are bringing something very interesting to the party – Tungsten analytics. I’m looking forward to getting sight of this toolset. It promises to be able to offer OB10 customers deep insight into not only their own spend profile but also allow them to benchmark their spend. Think about it, the amount of spend data that a supplier network has is phenomenal and with the right tools deployed in the right way that data can become extremely valuable.
The Tungsten deal doesn’t just give OB10 the cash to grow. It doesn’t just allow them to establish themselves as an important supply chain finance player, it’s going to transform them from being a highly specialist e-invoicing network into powerful partner that can support their customers’ total spend management.
Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin