great shape | Ivalua, the French unicorn of purchasing management, founded by David Khuat-Duy, is making a name for itself in the global market thanks to its cutting-edge solution in the digitization of purchasing processes. Valued at more than $2 billion, prestigious clients and more than 3 million users worldwide, Ivalua is the platform of choice for organizations and public administrations seeking to automate, collaborate and visualize their spend and suppliers.
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?
David Khawat Doi I grew up in a family that combined a passion for IT and entrepreneurship. With the mother of an information systems manager and the father of an entrepreneur, a business is being built in technology It was in my DNA. At a very young age, I became interested in computers and discovered the power of software in everyday life. After my engineering studies and stint in a consulting firm, it seemed only natural to me to turn this passion for technology into a business venture.
What are the qualities of a good CEO?
DKD It requires endurance and the ability to combine perseverance with agility. But in execution the ideas turn out to be really good. It is therefore important to have a real focus on execution while maintaining a holistic vision.
Driving a unicorn on a daily basis is…
DKD : Not much different from running a ‘normal’ business. Don’t let this designation distract you, because your leadership responsibilities do not change and are not a substitute for the trust you receive from your employees, customers, and markets. Trust is earned through promises kept! As the winner of the Next 40We are a member of French Tech and Unicorn status giving us a platform for innovative and entrepreneurial projects that are close to my heart.
When you’re not running your business, what is your passion?
DKD : For example, I like to recharge my batteries by going for a multi-day walk in nature to take a break from everyday life.
On what note did you decide to launch Ivalua in 2000?
DKD : I started my career as a consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she architects, designs and implements ERPs for major international accounts. So I have been immersed in digital transformation since the beginning of my career helping companies improve the efficiency of their operations using software solutions. But the idea of Ivalua was really born with the advent of the Internet and online marketplaces that make it possible to structure business exchanges digitally. This type of interaction opens the door to much greater cooperation between economic actors and offers the possibility of consulting suppliers in a faster and more transparent way. After developing the first version of our software in 2000, we had the opportunity to implement it within the procurement department of a large French international bank, in order to optimize and automate procurement processes. At the time, purchasing was done in a very hands-on manner, with an emphasis on cost rather than value or business impact. Ivalua’s vision has been gradually refined, but it is based on a core idea, which is that good management can make supply chains and procurement more efficient, sustainable and resilient, unlocking the full potential of better cooperation with suppliers.
What is the Evalua principle?
DKD Ivalua’s mission is to provide businesses and governments with a truly unified platform, providing the automation, collaboration and information they need to better manage all types of expenses and all of their suppliers. A platform that acts as a catalyst for purchases to become a strategic business partner. In concrete terms, Ivalua is a SaaS platform used by several million people in more than 70 countries. The vision we had for twenty years continued to be confirmed, culminating in the Covid-related crisis, which has led to significant supply disruptions. In this context, Ivalua is the ideal partner to strengthen the link with suppliers and ensure supply chain flexibility.
What is your business model?
DKD We are a software-in-the-cloud (SaaS) publisher operating with a software-to-service subscription business model for execution. We work closely with world-renowned consulting firms and system integrators to support our clients in the digital transformation of their purchasing, billing and payment processes, as well as their supply chains.
What are Ivalua’s key assets that have enabled it to disrupt the market?
DKD : Due to evolving markets, worldwide supply chain disruptions (COVID, Conflicts, CSR, Compliance) and the primary place occupied by social and environmental responsibility topics, the procurement function has gained strategic importance within organizations. That’s why we designed our platform to be highly configurable to give our customers the flexibility and agility to meet these challenges and customize deployments to their specific needs. In addition, our unified data model is designed to provide a 360-degree view of vendor and spend activities, and lends itself particularly well to integration with existing ERP systems. With our intuitive design and next-generation interface, users across all industries can quickly adopt our solutions. For specific segments with specific needs, we offer industry-specific solutions with additional features, functionality and connectors pre-configured and adapted to these characteristics. But beyond the functional side of our platform, we’ve been able to maintain the truly customer-focused, strong entrepreneurial culture that still defines us today. It is a real differentiator, as it allows us to collaborate closely with an ecosystem of world-class clients and partners and co-innovate to develop functions that the market and the profession need. It is a very practical and effective approach that has allowed us to be recognized as one of the world leaders in our market.
It has raised more than $130 million since Ivalua’s inception, bringing the company’s valuation to more than $2 billion. What are the indicators that fuel the appetite of investors so much?
DKD Our strategy is based on organic, profitable and sustainable growth. I care above all else about ensuring the company’s long-term success with all of our 850 employees. This financial strength allows us to continue our staffing operations even during a difficult macroeconomic period.
What prompted you to come to the United States?
DKD : Once we established our solid base in France, we wanted to expand internationally, because we operate in a global market where the competitors are primarily American. Establish a presence in United State So it responds to commercial growth strategy. It is the largest market in the world with cutting-edge companies, and because of its federal structure, many public sector players are investing in digitizing their operations. That is why we count among our clients companies from the tertiary and secondary sectors, but also reputable players from the public sector such as a country MarylandAnd from Arizona or city New York. With our location in Silicon Valley, a global software hub, we have been able to acquire new types of talent and equip ourselves with more advanced sales and marketing knowledge.
What are the latest news and features of Evalua?
DKD Our roadmap is largely the result of a joint innovation approach with our customers and partners. Among the main features we can mention the launch of a environmental impact center (EIC) that provides procurement and supply teams with reliable information that will enable them to effectively reduce Scope 3 emissions of greenhouse gases, and be responsible up to 75% Total emissions in most organizations. We are also integrating more and more artificial intelligence into our contract management solution as well as collaborating with suppliers, and we continue our investment for continuous innovation in direct (production) procurement management. Finally, Ivalua offers a service that meets the new French standards for e-billing that will come into force in 2024, ensuring compatibility with partner Substance Use Removal Platforms (PDP).
Is an IPO expected?
DKD Our strategic and financial choices are guided by pragmatism as we follow the current roadmap which consists of continuous improvement of our programs to meet the new challenges faced by our clients. We are profitable and growing and have self-funded R&D activities. We constantly evaluate various strategic and financing options and make choices if they are in the interest of our customers and employees.
What are the next goals?
DKD For 2023, we have set ourselves three goals. First of all, to strive for our operational excellence at all levels, but also, to be the preferred choice for our customers, partners and collaborators.
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