Basware – putting its money where its mouth is

Basware – putting its money where its mouth is

Basware’s financial results for 2015 are very positive. They show a steady and secure business with a solid foundation and while they haven’t set the world alight in recent years there is something about their self-belief and commitment to the future that is inspiring.

I was at the Mondrain Hotel in London – a new building on the South Bank in London and very impressive too – to attend Basware’s Capital Markets day. We were hosted in a small cinema style presentation room where Esa Tihila introduced a set of senior executives to give their summary and insight into Basware’s last calendar year and a view of the future.

I’ll leave it for the financial analysts to pick apart the numbers. The headlines that interested me were:

– Strong growth, particularly in Q4 of 2015 for cloud sales

– Strong growth in e-invoicing confirming this as a key Basware strength annualised transaction numbers now exceeding 100 million per annum

– €20 million Euro investment in growth

– Doubling of sales force prioritising efforts in US, UK and Germany

There was some other interesting points. Peter Smith, (Spend Matters UK), asked why there was no focus on Source to Pay like some other vendors. Basware’s focus is clearly Purchase to Pay preferring to partner for the sourcing end of the S2P spectrum. I think this is the right approach. Basware can claim to be amongst the best in class for Purchase to Pay and AP Automation and there’s stiff completion for complimentary functional areas such as sourcing and contract management. Focusing on growth while playing to strengths makes sense.

The other area of special interest is Supply Chain Finance. Basware’s offering in this space is somewhat limited but the same can’t be said of their ambitions. Their aim is for SCF to account to 10% of sales by 2018. From a virtual standing start that is very ambitious.

Basware’s commitment to the ambition is what impresses me. They’re putting €20 million of their own money into supporting significant growth between now and 2018 – that’s just this year. Doubling their sales force from 100 to 200 is a bold move that supports their strong self-belief. It is also in someways a confirmation of my own gut feeling that the market for P2P in it widest sense – e-procurement, AP automation and supply chain finance – is set to grow rapidly

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

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