The CEO of $18.6 billion Coupa explains how the budget-management firm weathered the pandemic by convincing customers to expand their usage

  • Coupa helps its business customers keep track of their spending in one central location.
  • The company managed to keep users hooked and even expand usage last year despite the pandemic. 
  • The company is expanding its platform as it looks to become a hub to track spending inside firms.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Coupa, a 15-year-old cloud software company that helps its business customers keep track of their spending in one central location, managed to keep users hooked last year despite the pandemic. 

The firm, which has a market cap of roughly $18.6 billion, increased its annual revenue 39% to $541.6 million last year. While that’s slower growth than in the past — the year before it grew revenue 50% annually — CEO Rob Bernshteyn said that Coupa convinced many of its existing customers to expand their product usage (thanks, in part, to new product offerings that the firm launched through acquisitions).  

“The renewal rate was just exceptional,” ernshteyn told Insider. “Virtually everyone stayed with us and expanded.”

Coupa wants to be a hub for all its customers’ spending 

Coupa was founded in 2006 and was initially best known for its procurement software, which helps customers automatically buy goods and services for business operations. The company went public via an IPO in 2016 and over and has spent the past few years building out its platform to provide “one source of truth” for all the spending happening inside a business. That includes things like travel and expense management for employees, managing suppliers and orders, and handling invoices.

“We’re forming this comprehensive understanding of how you spend money as a company: With whom and how,” Bernshteyn said. 

For example, MGM Resorts was able to save $2.4 million by using Coupa’s invoicing and supplier software for its supplier network. Plus, BMW was able to migrate one million items and over 5,000 contracts to Coupa’s platform in one day, Bernshteyn said on a recent call with analysts. 

In the past year, Coupa bought two smaller companies:

In June, Coupa bought a company called Bellin for an undisclosed amount that provides treasury management software, which Coupa customers can now use to look at and manage movement of funds in their accounts. In November, it acquired a supply chain and design company called LLamasoft, for $1.5 billion, which customers can now use to plan out their supply chain and its costs. It also acquired a corporate travel booking company called Pana, announced during its fourth quarter earnings in mid-March.  

While more acquisitions aren’t out of the question, the company is focusing this year on building more integrations between its different products.

When Coupa signs on a new customer, it’s often helping that business get rid of manual processes, like approving purchases via email or even paper receipts: Coupa brings everything into one digital platform. 

“We’re entering a new normal where people are going to be coming back to finding that new equilibrium of how they run their business,” Bernshteyn said. “We think they’re going to want to do it much more efficiently and we can obviously help them with that.” 

The company expects to grow its revenue between 24% and 25% annually this fiscal year, which ends January 31, 2022 and also plans to expand internationally and invest in research and development to grow its supply chain products.

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