June 13, 2023
Procure IT has announced a $3.5 million seed round featuring two private investors who will advise the company on its digital marketing strategy.
The Texas-based technology advisor, which is building a platform to assist businesses with procuring and managing different IT vendors, has now raised $4.8 million. Paul Filsinger and Giancarlo Maniaci, who are fellow members of the YPO executive group with Procure IT managing partner Randy Jeter, took part in the round. They will serve as advisors to Procure IT going forward.
Procure IT went public a little more than a month ago, announcing a four-agent merger. The company is seeking a sale to private equity in the next year or two. Part of their pitch is a platform that uses API integrations to help IT buyers evaluate vendor spend and risk. Moreover, Jeter told Channel Futures that the platform will also give emerging vendors an opportunity to get closer to the end user. He said Procure IT intends to bolster its digital marketing approach in order to strengthen that connection, and Filsinger and Maniaci will use their marketing expertise to advise.
“They’re basically strengthening their investment through advising us and putting time and effort into it,” Jeter told Channel Futures.
Maniaci said he’s excited to use new digital marketing platforms and techniques to promote Procure IT and its portfolio.
“Procure IT hits the sweet spot for me — using technology to disrupt traditional ways of doing things and creating incredible value for business customers,” said Maniaci. “I’m excited to back its mission of transforming IT procurement and management.”
In addition, ChannelCrowd fractional chief marketing officer Brian Leonard will work with Procure IT on the digital marketing front. Leonard once served as vice president of marketing for RapidScale alongside many of Procure IT’s co-founders.
ChannelCrowd’s Brian Leonard
Maniaci and Filsinger have been working the entrepreneurship and investment for decades.
Maniaci, for example, has founded advertising companies eJam and TapIt, as well as a hosted PBX platform company. He participates in seed funding for “technology and digital media startups,” Procure IT said.
Jeter’s relationship with Maniaci goes back to before he founded the managed cloud services provider RapidScale in 2008. Jeter at the time was running agency Premiere Worldwide and consulted with Maniaci. They remained close after Jeter went to RapidScale.
Filsinger founded marketing management company Qool Media that became part of marketing acquisition platform System1. He has worked as an angel investor for companies, including generative AI startup MadisonAve.ai. Jeter said Filsinger knows how to build a digital platform.
“Paul comes out of an IT background where he grew up leading IT and also being a buyer of IT,” Jeter said.
Filsinger said funding Procure IT fits with System1’s investments in cloud-based technologies.
“Procure IT helps companies better manage their technology investments by monitoring and analyzing it to realize and optimize its value. As an entrepreneur, founder and former public company CEO, I know that’s a brilliant idea that’s long overdue. Ironically, advancements in technology finally make it possible to achieve. I’m all in on helping Procure IT to get this into the hands of business owners and IT leaders everywhere,” he said.
Digital Marketing and the Channel
Jeter said he and Maniaci conducted an analysis of how …
… technology advisors (traditionally known as telecom agents) digitally market their services to customers. They found that in general, agent investment in marketing is rare, let alone digital marketing. And many partners admit themselves that they lack the resources to hire employees or firms that will conduct marketing campaigns. Often agents rely on referrals for their pipeline.
Jeter said Procure IT intends to be the exception. That’s not just in terms of a website, but also on social media.
“We’re going to do LinkedIn. We’re going to do Facebook. We’re going to do Instagram. We’re going to build out an entire stories around the customer on all facets of social,” Jeter said.
The Vendor Angle
Why the emphasis on digital marketing?
Jeter pointed to the trend of vendors looking to get the best bang for their buck when they invest in partners. It’s no secret that some vendors in the channel are looking to run more market development funds (MDF) through technology advisors, in hopes of directly touching the customer. In particular, vendors with emerging technologies that require a specific skill set to sell might want to narrow down the number of agents that receive their MDF.
“You have to bring the customer closer to the advisor and the value of the advisor and then more advanced technology, and the way to do that is through a digital platform,” Jeter told Channel Futures.
Jeter emphasized the relationship of the end customer to the digital platform. Namely, he said he hopes the Procure IT platform will bring a level of consulting and data analysis that most agents don’t provide. Procure IT is seeking to carve out a niche of sorts in between project-focused consultancies and sourcing-centric agents.
“I’m not PwC where I come in and say, ‘Sign this big contract. My reputation ties in this contract, and I’ve got a bunch of analysts. I’m going to bill you $700 an hour,” Jeter said. “I come in and say, ‘I can guarantee your price savings against your current spec. I want to make sure that providers are performing up to expectation. I need to minimize your risk, and then you need to take that to your board and make a decision.'”
The value proposition as Jeter puts it is twofold: giving customers a platform to analyze and vet vendors while giving vendors closer access to the customers.
“The goal is to use the data the customer wants and needs, and bring the customer closer to that need,” he said, “… it’s our job to bring the supplier stories to the customer under a sourcing model.”
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