Microsoft acquires AI business analytics start-up Suplari

29 Jul 2021

Suplari co-founders Jeff Gerber, Brian White and Nikesh Parekh. Image: Suplari

The software giant will add Suplari’s Spend Intelligence Cloud to its Dynamics 365 suite of business tools.

Suplari, a start-up that uses AI to analyse corporate expenditure and cash flow, has been acquired by Microsoft.

The software giant plans to add Suplari’s analytics tools to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of cloud-based business applications. The deal was announced in a blog post but financial details of the acquisition were not made public.

Seattle-based Suplari was founded in 2016 by Nikesh Parekh, Jeff Gerber and Brian White.

Its tools allow corporate clients to process their current and historical spending data to predict future trends and make decisions with the aim of better managing their cash flow. The company uses AI and machine learning to clean and categorise spend data and supplier activity from multiple systems and provide users with predictive insights.

“Suplari currently helps mid-size and large enterprises continuously manage costs and cash flow using unified, cleansed data, automated insights and predictive actions,” said Frank Weigel, Microsoft’s vice-president for the Dynamics 365 insights product group.

“Together with Dynamics 365, the Suplari Spend Intelligence Cloud will help customers maximise financial visibility by using AI to automate the analysis of current data and historical patterns from multiple data sources. This acquisition will further empower Microsoft to help our customers turn data into actionable insight.

“Today’s announcement also signals our continued commitment to enabling organisations to move beyond transactional financial management to proactive operations that enhance decision making, mitigate risks and reduce supplier costs through our data-first approach.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Suplari CEO Parekh added: “We are excited for the new road ahead with Microsoft. I am ecstatic to report that 100pc of our team is continuing to work together to extend Suplari’s Spend Intelligence Cloud at Microsoft. Customers can continue to expect the same great product experience from Suplari going forward.

“Given Microsoft’s AI, cloud and data investments, customers can expect that Suplari will continue to deliver more AI-driven, predictive and prescriptive insights and integrated workflows for finance, procurement and supply chain teams.”

This latest acquisition follows Microsoft’s purchase of cybersecurity outlet RiskIQ earlier this month.

The tech titan posted strong earnings in the latest quarter and recently became a $2trn company. Yesterday (28 July), it announced that Anne Sheehan is becoming the new general manager of Microsoft Ireland.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin