Our Investment in Tealbook - Leveraging Data to Fix Supplier Management

After a bit of a hiatus from posting in Q4, I’m excited to get back to writing here in 2021. I reflected a bit on the feedback I received through 2020 and thought of ways to improve the content track for the year ahead. As a result, I want to write more about the specific markets I spend my time in, Crypto and Fintech, in addition to covering go-to-market topics. For my first post this year, I wanted to share some thoughts about a recent investment we made at Reciprocal that I’m very excited about.

Here’s to a prosperous 2021! 🚀🚀🚀


The supply chain has long been an executive team target for bottom-line improvement using technology. Thousands of companies have attempted to build workflow software to improve the efficiency of the enterprise supply chain. Over the last half-century, innovators in the space have failed to address arguably the most crucial component: the data

Take a look back at the Material Requirements Planning systems of the 70s and 80s, the Enterprise Resource Planning platforms of the 90s and 00s, and the alphabet soup of cloud-native solutions of the last decade like Q2C, P2P, CPQ, VMS, etc. These technologies attempt to capture data in a database or connect human workflows with those databases, but they completely ignore the quality of the supplier data itself. This is the root cause of nearly every problem with supplier management today.

Corporate spending on technology has increased dramatically over the last few decades, and enterprises have continued to get larger both organically and via acquisition. These two trends have driven enterprise software to become increasingly specialized, and enterprise technology stacks to become obscenely complex and cumbersome. We now have department-specific ERPs, and entire technology suites designed to improve the efficiency of a single business unit or team. 

Decades of buying software point solutions while ignoring enterprise data hygiene have led to Frankenstein-like tech stacks that rarely deliver the ROI that was promised, and this is especially the case in the supply chain. For example, we’ve heard of companies having more than 150+ ERP systems! How can you have 150 “single sources of truth”?!

The cost of dealing with bad supplier data is spinning out of control, creating a massive drag on enterprises’ bottom line. On the low end, enterprises spend $585 per supplier to update their record and keep it in good standing. Large enterprises manage anywhere between 5,000 and 120,000 suppliers, meaning best case they’re spending $2.925 million to maintain supplier records. And to top it off, that data will be outdated in a month! 

Tealbook solves this problem with their Data Foundation, which serves up a universal profile for every supplier an enterprise works with. They do this by ingesting, processing, and cleaning data from more than 400M websites and 600 databases, in real-time. The data foundation can be plugged into any system across the enterprise to cleanse and harmonize supplier records company-wide, regardless of how many workflow solutions or ERPs you have. 

Tealbook’s Data Foundation is the single source of truth for a company’s entire supply chain. It enables procurement and supply chain executives to be proactive with supplier management, risk management, supply chain resiliency and continuity, category management, and supplier diversity. Having the digital data foundation in place also allows procurement teams to drive value for the enterprise with data-driven decision making around all supply chain-related issues and initiatives.

In addition to having designed an elegant solution to a long-standing and troublesome problem, we were incredibly impressed by Tealbook’s fearless leader, Stephany Lapierre. We were blown away by the depth of Stephany’s knowledge in the sector and the strategy she executed to bootstrap the Data Foundation. Beyond that, Stephany has proven to be a great leader who can attract the very best talent. She has assembled a remarkable team of expert operators who together put the company in a position to take this market by storm and do something truly revolutionary.   

Tealbook is going to be hiring like crazy so keep an eye on their open jobs here! The company has gotten some great press after announcing their Series A, which I’ve linked to below:

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