Kayyak Ventures led a USD7m Series A for wherEX, a Chilean RFP platform for sourcing industrial materials and services , with participation from Jaguar Ventures, FJ Labs and Tuesday Capital.
(Press Release) – wherEX, the e-sourcing tool announces the successful closing of its $7 M Series A to grow its expansion to LatAm and the US market. A pioneer in artificial intelligence, wherEX makes B2B commerce transparent and increases competition by bringing multiple qualified offers for every product or service tendered in its marketplace.
The startup originated in 2016 with its first clients in the salmon industry and then expanded to other sectors to solve the common pain in digitizing procurement processes and bringing competitive sourcing for all company purchases. As of May 2021, the company is trading around $720 M USD through its platform between 125 enterprise clients and more than 20,000 suppliers both local and global.
“By year-end we should grow our transaction volumes by 300% and end with 250 enterprise clients across LatAm.” – Juan Carlos Hurtado.
The round was led by Kayyak Ventures with FJ Labs, Jaguar Ventures and Tuesday Capital participating. In this round, the startup incorporated two more co-founders Ben Garcia and Francisco Puente who are Y-Combinator alumni class of S20 and are serial entrepreneurs ever since graduating from MIT in 2018.
With this capital injection and team growth the company plans to continue its international expansion in LatAm and compete in the US Market by 2022. The US Market dimension by itself has around 60,000 prospective clients which is similar in size to LatAm.
“B2B commerce in the US is still in its infancy in terms of digital, financing and sourcing. We see an opportunity to bring a comprehensive and analytical e-sourcing solution to the US Market to make B2B transactions easy.” – says Cristobal Silva, managing Partner at Kayyak Ventures.
Challenges for Procurement Teams During Pandemic
During the pandemic the company has grown its traded volume and customer base by 220%. During COVID-19, entire supply chains were disrupted bringing new challenges to procurement teams accustomed to using their usual suppliers. Now in 2021, many materials continue to be scarce leading to abrupt increases in price. As an example, price of timber in the US driven by construction demand and supply shortage increased 288% in the US. In Mexico price of steel has increased 200%, bringing severe challenges to the entire steel industry. This scarcity has driven the need for a digital sourcing platform that plays at both a local and global level.
In addition, procurement teams and suppliers sellers working remotely face new challenges in digital transformation. According to Mckinsey report, 49% of procurement teams report their productivity to be falling in remote work and 46% of them have reduced their cost reduction targets in 2021. It is now more important than ever to bring procurement practices to the digital age to improve transparency and communication between buyers and suppliers.
WherEX is an e-sourcing enterprise software for request for proposals and requests for information. The startup was born in the fishing industry and soon expanded to cover other verticals in industrials, materials and services. Through its digital tool, wherEX offers a solution to request products and services and receive bids from qualified suppliers across the globe. This practice brings competition and transparency to every purchase and allows suppliers the opportunity to bid through the platform to potential buyers. Lastly, this cloud based software is quick to implement and easy to adopt for companies bringing the best return in investment in the market.