Scoutbee celebrates its 5th Birthday


Scoutbee celebrates its 5th Birthday

Today is the perfect time to look back at the awesome work we’ve done for our customers, and the exciting times ahead for supplier discovery 

Exactly 5 years ago, a group of guys from the purchasing, operations and engineering worlds came together, pooled their collective knowledge and skills, sold their cars for cash and set out to transform supplier discovery. 

Our experiences were key to creating Scoutbee – at drive-technology manufacturer Wittenstein, Gregor was seeing the price of rare earth magnets rise ten-fold after China closed markets for such materials. Leading sales operations at Lidl, Lee was experiencing how difficult it was to source simple items such as individual bags for bread. When fate brought us together at a gathering in L.A., we bonded over the difficulties of supplier discovery. That’s when we decided to found an innovative company to solve this problem. 

Not long after we made the jump to start the company, we were joined by Dr. Christian Heinrich who added another level of supply chain expertise that would help refine our solution. Then in February 2015 with the support of Thimo Schraut, in a small flat outside of Wurzburg, we started to put the initial building blocks of the company you see today together. 

After much…much trial and error, highs and lows, we started to find our feet both with our product offering and our go-to-market. With the introduction of a new member of the management team, Fabian Heinrich in 2018 we now had even more experience to grow the company. Fabian had scaled several global companies for Rocket Internet in Asia and the Middle East, including dealing with sourcing while trying to manage the effect of sanctions.

Since then, Scoutbee has become one of the fastest growing B2B SaaS platforms, having raised over 75 million dollars in funding from leading VC funds, and built a team of 130 employees across 6 countries.

What hasn’t changed in this time is our core mission — in our DNA, we understand the complexities and the pain of the tedious, manual processes of traditional scouting and sourcing for suppliers. Sourcing is often the largest expense category for companies, and is still too often poorly digitized.  We have always believed in a better way, where technology can deliver unified information, with speed, and facilitate better business decisions. Scoutbee’s mission is to help the right purchasers and the right suppliers connect, anywhere in the world.  

Scoutbee was born as a software-as-a-service suite, powered by Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data to make it easy for people that need the right product to find the right supplier with the right product – in a couple of weeks…not months.  To this day, we call this Smarter Supplier Discovery.

Our technological journey continues

In amassing our data, the Scoutbee team has pushed boundaries to utilize and aggregate thousands of different sources. Key to the intelligence of acquired data is that it should mimic the behaviour of the purchaser and represent the decision making process when choosing a supplier.

Scoutbee uses data points such as keywords, certificates, location, target industries, OEM experience, and many more. Hence, over the years Scoutbee has amassed structured data like trade-show profiles and combined it with unstructured data like webscale text extraction from hundreds of millions of webpages. All of this data is enabled to flow, after cleaning and structuring into powerful Machine Learning Algorithms. 

One of the most pleasing successes has been our work with Entity Resolution and Entity Linking. As a single company record can consist of hundreds or even thousands of different data sources, Scoutbee has created a state of the art data pipeline, to make sure that only related company records are paired, and at scale. Today, Scoutbee is using cutting edge techniques to find higher standards in interpreting language in professional/scientific environments.

Our customer journey

Scoutbee was originally launched with only one customer. In time, word spread in the industry about how Scoutbee could digitally transform with time and cost savings, bring joy to procurement teams, and facilitate 21st century, value-added procurement. 

Over the past 5 years, we are very proud to have been trusted by over 90 amazing customers and millions of suppliers all over the world. We are active in industry sectors including manufacturing, chemicals, pharma, aviation/aerospace, automotive, off-highway and industrial machining, construction, manufacturing and retail.

From multi-national household names like Audi, Airbus, Caterpillar and Bosch, to smaller niche customers, with each and every sourcing case delivering important learnings and enabling the Scoutbee’s AI to evolve and enhance.  Scoutbee today has a loyal and often passionate user-community of procurement professionals and supplier partners. 

Scoutbee founders world procurement award

For example, Audi has found that Scoutbee simplifies their global scouting processes, and has enjoyed better efficiencies with us.  Additionally, Airbus has enjoyed much better user experience for supplier discovery than before.  

Thanks to our great team

As founders, we must say a huge thank you to our talented team, and everyone who has contributed to our growth and learning over the past 5 years. Whether it be across Corporate Administration, Data Operations, Engineering, Marketing, Customer & Supplier Operations, People/HR,  Planning and Reporting, Product Development & Design, Sales Operations, or Treasury and Accounting, Scoutbee has attracted some of the smartest and most passionate talent from all sides of the tech and procurement communities. We can be especially proud of the hard work and dedication to our customers’ success, and the product innovations that drive us and make our future trajectory so exciting. Thank you!

Taking Scoutbee into the next 5 years…

The Scoutbee team is working harder than ever to improve the lives of procurement teams – we are investing in research and development, and exploring the best new opportunities to make the Scoutbee product even more robust and effective. 

As we gather learnings from the millions of transactions on our platform, and learn new trends and best practices from the ever-changing industry, we look forward to the next 5 years of shared success, and a very exciting future with you all.

Gregor, Lee & Fabian