Absolute Commerce is a company with GE roots and a plan to help businesses better manage purchasing budgets. Based in Providence, the company is looking for a big year in 2014.
CEO Kevin Wilbur started in the finance world and worked for some time at GE. As he said of the path towards starting Absolute Commerce, “I was running the procured to pay process for GE capital, [covering the process from when] someone decides they want to buy something all they way through the invoice being paid.”
Wilbur later joined 170 Systems, working on the backend of financial processes. The company was later acquired by Kofax.
The 170 Systems experience, combined with the work for GE made him rethink the entire system of business purchasing. “What we saw there,” he said, “and what we were tying to tackle made me realize that there are a lot of large organizations out there that are good at knowing what they are going to purchase, generally good at procuring, and really good at getting discounted prices.”
“However,” he added, “they are not good at actually operationalizing those discounts within their operations and making sure employees are able to purchase from the right company at the right price.”
Wilbur explained where Absolute Commerce comes in, “We work with buying organizations and work with suppliers to build out product catalogs. We do some data enrichment and integrate that into a purchasing system that these large organizations already run. “
“We provide a data service to make sure that companies are able to take advantage of the discounts they’ve already negotiated,” he added.
“One of the things that we like,” Wilbur continued, “is that we can get transaction to transaction visibility that gives us a tremendous amount of data: economic indicators and other data that we can leverage beyond our customers.”
So far, Absolute Commerce has gotten a great reaction from companies across a ton of different verticals.
So far the company has raised some seed money, $500K as Wilbur told me, most of which came from Rhode Island’s Slater Technology Fund.
Wilbur also said that Absolute Commerce plans to raise a Series A round at some point in 2014, most likely in the late summer.