HQ: San Mateo, CA
Founded: 1999. Formerly Telaris, the company was in stealth mode for a full five years.
Management: Patrick Grady, founder, chairman, and CEO, was formerly a venture capitalist. Corey Billington, Vice President of Supply Chain and Procurement Strategy, spent 15 years at Hewlett-Packard. He’s a supply chain whiz.
Investors: Rearden Commerce has received $42 million in funding from Charter Venture Group, Foundation Capital, and Empire Capital Partners. And CEO Grady has invested $3 million of his own personal wealth in the company.
Business Model: Reardon sells a subscription-based Web platform that allows corporations to consolidate and procure a number of services at lower costs, including those for airplane tickets, hotels, restaurants, and conferencing. The company is positioning itself as a “corporate concierge,” helping companies efficiently and inexpensively satisfy their everyday needs – from sending a package to buying paper clips. At launch, in February 2004, the company was able to boast a number of significant clients: Cingular, Genesys, JDS Uniphase, Motorola, and Warner Music. It’s impressive, but remember that the company has been around for five years and wed expect it to have at least a handful of solid clients at this point
Competitors: Ketera, Procuri, PurchasingNet, Verian Technologies
Dirt: We’ve seen other companies make promises to offer the universal key to procurement. So far, we’re not yet convinced that Rearden is the one (despite a well-honed publicity effort). Even Microsoft, with its Hailstorm project, took a crack at this market and failed. And while Rearden has a five-year development “lead,” using the Web has become easier and cheaper. After all, its not that hard to book travel or a hotel through Expedia. We do like the idea of consolidating all these services into one Web interface, but attempts to centralize corporate tasks are always a tough slog. Grady has openly stated that many venture capitalists – 82 to be exact – passed on the opportunity to invest in Rearden. Whoa…Can that many VCs be wrong?