Cork-based AI start-up Keelvar raises $18m in Series A funding

4 Jun 2020

Image: Keevlar

After securing major funding, Keelvar is set to expand its AI supply chain software in the US and Europe from its base in Cork.

Keelvar, a spin-out from University College Cork (UCC) that designs AI supply chain software, has secured $18m in Series A funding. The round was led by Elephant and Mosaic Ventures, with participation from Paua Ventures.

Keelvar said that this new funding will support its expansion plans for Europe and the US amid the rapidly growing demand for supply chain automation solutions, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will also expand its software R&D, and create new roles in the areas of engineering, AI and machine learning, product development, professional services, design, sales and marketing.

In addition to its Cork headquarters, the company has offices in Dublin, Dallas, Pittsburgh, London and Berlin.

While the number of new jobs has not been specified, a spokesperson said that the hope is to scale up Keelvar’s workforce by at least 50pc in the coming year and into 2021. The company’s CEO, Alan Holland, said it will be looking to hire for “numerous roles”.

‘Tremendous growth’ in the last year

Keelvar currently manages more than $90bn in spend annually for companies including Siemens, Coca-Cola, Novartis, BMW and Samsung. The company said it expects the requirement for sourcing information software to increase as organisations adapt after Covid-19.

Holland said of the investment: “When it comes to sourcing, automation for more mundane tactical buying frees personnel up to focus on strategic tasks such as innovation management and risk assessment.

“As a key enabler for automation in procurement, we’ve experienced tremendous growth in the last year and we see that continuing at an even faster pace given the current situation. This investment will allow us to build greater capacity to deal with this surge in demand for Keelvar’s software.”

Peter Fallon, a partner at Elephant, added: “Keelvar’s sourcing optimisation and automation software delivers meaningful return on investments to enterprise sourcing and procurement organisations globally.

“We are excited to partner with Alan Holland and the team at Keelvar as the company continues to emerge as a leader in this market.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic