A B2B marketplace that uses artificial intelligence to line up companies in need of business services just got a major cash infusion from a big international investment firm that loves to put money into major e-commerce companies.
SoftBank Vision Fund, a subsidiary of Tokyo financial services conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., invests $100 million or more in promising digital and e-commerce technology companies in such areas as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, B2C e-commerce and mobile apps. Now the latest recipient of $100 million in investor money is Globality Inc., a B2B marketplace for large global companies to find and manage service providers in areas including customer service, human resources, information technology, legal and other corporate operations.
Globality, based in San Francisco, was co-founded in 2015 by Joel Hyatt, founder of Hyatt Legal Services, and technology entrepreneur Lior Delgo. The investment by Softbank Vision Fund brings its running total to more than $172 million in total investor money. The company will use the new influx of working capital to hire more engineering and product development employees, to expand marketing and sales, and for potential acquisitions, Globality says.
“This investment will accelerate our efforts to empower companies to find and select the best service providers at the right price,” says Hyatt, who is Globality’s chairman and CEO. For a relatively new company Globality has attracted some high-profile investors including former vice president Al Gore and Jeffrey Housenbold, the former CEO and president of Shutterfly Inc., who is now with SoftBank Vision Fund.
“Professional services represent a multitrillion-dollar global market, but procurement is mainly still a cumbersome manual process, says Housenbold, who’s joining Globality’s board of directors. “Globality has spent several years in developing proprietary AI-enabled matchmaking capabilities to address these inefficiencies head-on.”
The Globality B2B marketplace currently hosts more than 17,000 business services companies, representing more than 600,000 professionals linked to its e-commerce platform and database. But the company has yet to say how many buyers it has. The service is free to corporations looking to buy services, but service providers are charged a fee based on a percentage of the final signed contract, Globality says.
The Globality marketplace uses AI and natural language processing technology to help companies looking for business services find the best service provider at the right price by letting them analyze a myriad of custom data points such as the service provider’s location, culture and work history and employees, Globality says.
To use the marketplace, buyers of corporate services fill out a detailed online questionnaire. Globality then uses AI and natural language processing to match up a list of service providers based on the buyer’s custom needs and project specifications.
Globality claims its B2B marketplace can “cut the sourcing process from months to hours, and delivering savings of 20% or more for companies.”
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