Never before has the importance of a smooth-flowing supply chain been as clear as it has been in the COVID-19 pandemic era. For manufacturers in particular, managing intricate supply chains can be particularly challenging.
Enter Assent Compliance -- a Canadian company focused on supply chain sustainability management. Put more simply, Ottawa-based Assent aims to help manufacturers make smarter decisions regarding “who they do business with and how their products are sourced,” notes CEO Andrew Waitman.
And today, the company is announcing it has raised $350 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion in a funding round led by Vista Equity Partners. The financing follows a $131 million Series C raise led by Warburg Pincus, which remains the company’s largest shareholder.
Interestingly, Assent was bootstrapped for the first five years of its life -- from 2010 to 2015. In the subsequent years, after Waitman came on as CEO, the company has raised over $500 million and grew its headcount from about 20 to 820 today (45% of which identify as female). While half a billion dollars raised in the U.S. is not uncommon, it’s a bit more rare in the Canadian tech scene.
Assent’s trajectory continues to grow and Waitman projects the SaaS company will cross $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) this year after growing ARR by over 50% in the past 12 months. Its customers include the likes of GE Appliances, Polaris, Stryker and Escatec.
The company delivers enterprise-wide supply chain sustainability solutions across product compliance, trade compliance and ESG -- better known as Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance. Assent has made a name for itself by being exclusively focused on complex manufacturing. Doubling down on that niche has allowed it to build what it claims is “the industry's largest network of supplier intelligence.” Specifically, it works to help complex manufacturers proactively identify and manage risk, accelerate market access and growth and promote brand reputation.
Assent’s compliance platform provides centralized access to supply chain data for use by teams across a given company. It automates data collection and validation and provides "configurable" reporting so that its customers “can stay ahead” of their data requirements.
“The increasing complexity and scale of regulations and varying requirements globally, combined with a heightened focus on ESG, presents challenges for companies across industries, particularly for manufacturers,” Waitman said. “Assent enables deep insight and rapid transparency to help ensure products are made with environmental and human rights standards necessary to compete — and win — in markets of the future."
The company plans to use its new capital mostly to continue expanding in Europe, eventually enter the Asian market and grow its headcount by 40% across its sales, services, engineering, customer success and marketing teams.
“Manufacturing represents 20% of GDP,” Waitman told TechCrunch. “It’s an enormous market.”
Vista’s Foundation Fund, which invests in middle-market companies seeking to scale and accelerate their growth trajectory, led the investment. Vista’s Patrick Severson, co-head of the Vista Foundation Fund, and Jake Hodgman, managing director of the Foundation Fund, will join the Assent board of directors.
Companies globally are facing increased demand to ensure they source their components and raw materials in an ethical and responsible manner, either from government regulators who oversee them or from customers and partners whose expectations hold them to higher standards, noted Severson. Assent is “ahead of the curve” when it comes to solving enterprise supply chain challenges through technology.
“Assent’s solution empowers companies to mitigate their brand and reputation risk and become better corporate citizens,” Severson added. “The scrutiny being placed on complex manufacturers in how they manage their supply chains is only increasing. Assent is uniquely positioned to be a clear leader in a future focused on manufacturers adopting supply chain sustainability best practices.”