- Spend management platform Coupa announced Tuesday it acquired travel technology startup Yapta, which will become part of Coupa's travel and expense offering.
- Yapta's software monitors real-time changes in airfare and hotel rates and automatically rebooks if prices fall. "Yapta has helped companies save an average of 2%-4% of their corporate travel budgets, resulting in more than $350 million of savings to date," Coupa said in a press release.
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Yapta has raised more than $21 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and company statements.
Organizations often focus less attention on indirect spend (such as corporate travel) than direct spend, even though the amount of indirect spend exceeds direct at many companies, particularly service-oriented organizations. The Global Business Travel Association, for example, found global spending on business travel reached $1.3 trillion in 2017 and forecasts it will grow to $1.7 trillion by 2022.
Indirect spend also tends to be fragmented across contracts and departments. If procurement professionals can see and manage spend through one centralized platform, they have the potential to cut costs in one area and unlock cash flow in another to use for R&D or technology investments.
For this reason, software vendors have used acquisitions to make their suites more comprehensive and encompass numerous functions, appealing to procurement departments seeking to efficiently manage spend in a centralized way. Last year, Workday acquired Scout RFP, adding sourcing solutions, RFPs, supplier onboarding and contract management functionalities to Workday's platform. The acquisition gave departments using Workday the ability to manage numerous procurement functions within their ERP system.
Coupa markets its business spend management platform as a way for employees "to conduct all of their business spend activities in one place." Several of its recent acquisitions further that goal. Last year it acquired Exari, which provides contract lifecycle management. In 2018, Coupa bought risk management provider Hiperos as well as Aquiire, a tech provider offering supplier catalogs and search tools.
The acquisition of Yapta will position Coupa to compete with SAP Concur, which Spend Matters described as the "big kahuna" for the travel and expense spend category. In fact, SAP Concur led a $4.2 million funding round for Yapta in 2013.
Coupa analyst Terry Tillman of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said in a report the firm anticipates Coupa will make similar acquisitions in the future "to build out an expansive spend management platform."
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