Nipendo CEO Talks $8M VC Round, Supply Chains, and Move to Boston

Nipendo is the latest Israeli startup to expand to the Boston area. The 50-person company, which makes software to connect large enterprises with suppliers, has just raised $8 million in Series B funding led by Horizons Ventures, and it is setting up new headquarters in Burlington, MA.

Horizons is known for its investments in Facebook, Spotify, and Siri—pretty good company to be in. Oh yeah, and Nipendo says it has been profitable since late 2012. So maybe it has something to teach venture-backed Boston startups too.

I spoke with Nipendo’s CEO, Eyal Rosenberg, last week. The reasons to set up shop in the Boston area were many, he says: a “very fruitful high-tech center,” proximity to both enterprise software expertise and the healthcare/pharma industry, and strong local contacts, including Nipendo board member Avner Schneur, the founder and former CEO of Emptoris (acquired by IBM in late 2011).

The startup’s Web-based software is designed to automate and manage supply-chain interactions for corporations. Nipendo focuses on non-retail customers in healthcare, pharma, high tech, aerospace, defense, and food and beverage, Rosenberg says. A healthcare management organization, for example, could use Nipendo’s software to automate its dealings with pharmaceutical suppliers (and other smaller ones), all the way from purchase orders to invoicing, payments, shipping, and delivery.

How is this better than what IBM and many others already provide? Well, for starters, Nipendo “is for the long tail of suppliers,” Rosenberg says. Basically, it’s tough to configure most supply-chain software to deal with thousands of small suppliers—each connection has to be tailored. And, as Rosenberg explains, “the process logic resides in each side of the process, within the customer or the supplier or both. That causes a long time to implement.”

Nipendo tries to automate all that. “We took an engine that captures and configures all the logic centrally,” he says. “You do it once in the system, based on a template of best practices, and now you can connect immediately to everyone.”

The company’s Burlington office opened on March 1 and is looking to hire in sales, business development, office administration, and then project and operations managers. If things go according to plan, Rosenberg says, the office will build up to 25 people or more in the next two years. (He’s in the process of moving permanently this month.)

Nipendo got started in 2007 in Israel. It previously raised a $4 million Series A round from Tel Aviv-based Magma Venture Partners.

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