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Microsoft Acquires Suplari, an AI-Automated Spend and Procurement Startup

Suplari to be Integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to Strengthen Business Insights in Finance

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In its latest string of technology-focused acquisitions, Microsoft has acquired Seattle, Washington-based Suplari, the provider of a cloud-based spend management solution powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that helps companies optimize spending and manage costs.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition is intended to bolster the procurement capabilities of Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) suite of solutions for business productivity. The agreement was announced in late July by Microsoft in a Dynamics 365 blog post and by Suplari in a news release on its website.

“For most companies, their financial data is locked in silos, making in-depth analysis difficult,” said Frank Weigel, vice president, Dynamics 365 Insights Product Group. “With many companies facing rising costs and deteriorating margins, access to actionable insights for finance and procurement leaders is critical.”

Founded in 2016, Suplari analyzes procurement and spending data flowing into various enterprise systems, gathering data from multiple sources, such as contracts, purchase orders, invoices, expenses, and supplier risk, and then transforming that data into recommendations for cost savings, risk exposure, and other efficiency gaps. Microsoft said that by pairing Dynamics 365 with Suplari, which manages more than $180 billion in spend across millions of transactions per month, customers can maximize financial visibility by using AI to automate the analysis of current data and historical patterns from multiple data sources.

Suplari, a 40-person company, is among a group of startups using AI and machine learning (ML) to provide recommendations after automating manual processes involving tons of data. The CEO is Nikesh Parekh, a real estate technology veteran who previously held leadership positions at Market Leader and Trulia.

“We are excited for the new road ahead with Microsoft,” said Parekh. “Given Microsoft’s AI, cloud, and data investments, customers can expect that Suplari will continue to deliver more AI-driven, predictive, and prescriptive insights, and integrated workflows for finance, procurement, and supply chain teams.” 

The deal is the latest in a bevy of IPOs, fundings, and acquisitions across the Seattle startup ecosystem, which has raised a record $3.1 billion just in the first half of this year, according to an article in GeekWire tracking the Seattle startup scene.

For its part, Microsoft has remained active in the M&A market in 2021. In July, it acquiredCloudKnox Security, a multi-cloud permissions platform to protect critical cloud infrastructure resources and identities; and RiskIQ, a cybersecurity and threat intelligence software with Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerability expertise. Earlier this year, Microsoft also acquired ReFirm Labs, a firmware security software startup that protects Internet of Things (IoT) devices; Nuance Communications, the makers of speech recognition and transcribing capabilities; and The Marsden Group, the rapid prototyping company with expertise on the Azure cloud, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and AI.

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