Jules Schwerin, partner at RTP Global and lead investor in Tealbook’s recent Series A funding round, shares his thoughts on how Tealbook is positioned to solve critical data problems within supply chain and guide procurement teams for success.
The easiest way to describe why I was and still am excited by Tealbook is the basic realization that software isn’t the bottleneck for digital transformation efforts within procurement; data is. Having up to date, accurate and unified supplier data is the problem. Without good data all the software in the world won’t allow even the most skilled CPOs to achieve their goals of cost savings, supply chain continuity and visibility, etc.
Tealbook has created a product to continuously mine, update and refine supplier data in order to solve this problem. To put it even more simply: your outputs are only as good as your inputs no matter how sophisticated your underlying systems are. That’s the takeaway Stephany Lapierre, CEO of Tealbook had after nearly a decade of consulting engagements with many procurement professionals and its one I genuinely believe the market has missed—or at least has yet to fully wrap its head around.
the data problem
As difficult as it is to believe, in 2021 there still isn’t a unified source of truth with respect to supplier data. There’s no ZoomInfo for the buy-side, although there really should be. Mostly because it’s such a complex, protean dataset that most efforts to tame the beast that is procurement have been unsuccessful. Companies spend millions of dollars and man hours attempting to fix the root cause—their data—which is fresh only briefly and turns stale shortly after the herculean effort is done.
For real progress to be made in the procurement function there must be a more permanent fix. And I believe Tealbook has the potential to be just that. Tealbook’s data foundation has the potential to underpin the next generation of procurement in a big way. It’s the opportunity to enable CPOs everywhere to accomplish their most critical goals with Tealbook’s team of domain experts which led me to lead this Series A investment—and I couldn’t be more excited to work on such a massive problem with such a great team.
Tealbook has the distinct benefit of improving exponentially with every new customer, and in time with enough traction, the company has the potential to create a data asset which is borderline unassailable. Such a data asset is practically being pleaded for in the market today. I’m excited to have a front row seat with Tealbook as we chip away at this massive problem, acutely highlighted by the COVID pandemic, and truly impacting us all.
About the author
Jules Schwerin is a Partner in RTP’s New York office. Prior to RTP, Jules was a Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners where he co-authored Bessemer’s thesis in the field of Data Privacy Engineering and helped lead several category defining investments. Before that, he spent time on a data science team at Google, co-founded a business, worked as a management consultant and had a brief stint in industrial manufacturing. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.