HICX raises $30 million to give companies visibility into their supply chain

HICXa supplier experience management platform designed to give companies visibility into their supply chain has raised $30 million in a funding round led by US private equity firm Wavecrest Growth Partners and Canada’s Espresso Capital. The financing was a mix of $22 million in equity and $8 million in debt.

Founded in 2004, London-based HICX serves a low-code SaaS-based platform that gives companies a single channel for onboarding new vendors, complete with tools to capture all the information that different departments and systems across a company need . It also includes integrations with enterprise resource planning (ERP), purchase-to-pay (P2P) and supply chain management (SCM) systems, and serves to ensure that all stakeholders work from the same information.

HICX also includes a dedicated suite of compliance management tools that ensure suppliers comply with any tax, business, trade, diversity or sustainability regulations a company may have.

Supplier compliance management Image credits: HICX

Today’s announcement marks HICX’s first significant external funding in its 18-year history, with a spokesperson telling TechCrunch that it was fully bootstrapped from inception until 2018, when it received a small “friends and family” investment of around $1 million dollars. It has also amassed quite an impressive list of clients including Unilever, Lenovo and BAE Systems.

The problem

Businesses across the industrial spectrum often need to demonstrate – for example to their board or regulatory authorities – that they comply with company policies and all laws of the land. While it is easy enough to provide internally generated data to demonstrate compliance, the more suppliers a company has, the more difficult it becomes to show that the business adheres to a rigorous procurement regime that looks at compliance externally , down the supply chain.

For example, a bank may want to demonstrate that it only invests in climate-friendly companies, or a global consumer brand may want to demonstrate that it only does business with net-zero carbon suppliers. The so-called “range 3 emissions” — emissions in a company’s supply chain that it does not directly control — are difficult to track. And sustainable sourcing is also not just about tracking carbon emissions, but about how products are manufactured and delivered, what the life cycle is and much more.

Add to the mix the dozens or hundreds of suppliers a company might have in its supply chain, and you can begin to imagine how difficult it is to get a complete picture of what’s going on. And this is essentially where HICX enters the fray with a platform that serves as the single source of truth for supplier data.

But it’s worth noting that supplier management tools like HICX aren’t just about arming companies with data and insights into their supply chain, they’re also designed to ensure that suppliers are happy to work with a company , making their lives easier through a more modern, user-friendly platform.

“At the most basic level, companies deliver value to customers through the combined efforts of their internal teams and suppliers,” HICX CEO and co-founder Kostas Xiloiannis said in a statement. “Companies often underinvest in supplier expertise to facilitate suppliers to deliver their best work. However, we have recently seen a significant shift and many of the world’s leading brands are investing in technology to address this and become the ‘customer of choice’ for as many of their suppliers as possible.”

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