Pioneering Cork AI firm Keelvar raises $24m

Keelvar helps giants like Coca-Cola and Tesco overcome supply chain complexities.

Pioneering Cork artificial intelligence (AI) player Keelvar has raised $24m in a Series B funding round.

The investment – which brings Keelvar’s total capital raised to $43 million – was led by 83North. Series A investors Elephant, Mosaic and Paua doubled down on their investment.

“Procurement is broken. Costs are out of control, capacity is scarce and disruptions are everywhere”

Bastian Nomichacher, the co-founder and co-CEO of Celonis, also joined as a minority investor. Keelvar’s Series B builds off a period of rapid growth and expansion for the company, which increased its headcount by 200% since the start of 2021 and grew ARR by 113% last year.

Making the supply chain sizzle

The UCC spin-out company’s technology addresses inefficiencies in the global trillion-dollar procurement marketplace.

Its sourcing technology – which leverages AI, data science and smart sourcing bots that run on autopilot – empowers customers to make crucial supply chain decisions quickly and confidently amidst ongoing change and disruption.

“Procurement is broken. Costs are out of control, capacity is scarce and disruptions are everywhere. This dynamic makes it incredibly difficult for buyers and suppliers to remain agile, manage risk and strike deals,” said Alan Holland, founder and CEO of Keelvar.

“We see an immense opportunity to alleviate economic and supply chain bottlenecks by making the sourcing process easier, faster and more intelligent. Our technology fundamentally changes what’s possible by offering a new approach to intelligent automation and optimization.”

Keelvar enables leading enterprises such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Samsung and Tesco to identify reliable suppliers, control costs and make quick, effective and smart sourcing decisions that drive key business objectives, like ESG, product innovation, profitability and resilience. The technology automates the tactical aspects of managing a sourcing event and leverages artificial intelligence to weigh various sourcing scenarios and guide customers to the best decision for their supply chains.

“Keelvar provides a robust, proven and powerful optimization solution that’s very easy to use,” said Brett Fultz, Director of Global Analytics, Global Procurement and Supply Chain at Coca-Cola. “We began leveraging the solution to help manage one of our most complex categories – global transport. The technology was so effective we quickly expanded its use across our supply chain.”

Keelvar will leverage the investment to further scale in the United States, where demand for intelligent sourcing solutions is rapidly increasing. The company plans to provide new solutions for large enterprise and mid-market businesses and accelerate its vision of making sourcing automation frictionless, no-code and available to all.

“Enterprises were blindsided when the pandemic shut down the global supply chain. As issues persist and show no sign of relenting, C-suites are finally recognizing that intelligent automation is a must-have,” said Philip Chopin, partner at 83North.

“Keelvar’s unique automation and optimization solutions empower procurement teams by helping them easily define their needs and react faster to market changes. The company’s blue-chip customer list and incredible retention and satisfaction rates are a powerful testament to their technology, team and vision. Keelvar is revolutionizing how procurement is done and we are excited to be part of its success in the years to come.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.