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Ottawa-based Assent Compliance, a SaaS company that helps companies comply with product, trade, and ESG regulations, has raised $ 350 million for a valuation of over $1 billion (Mary Ann Azevedo / TechCrunch).

The need of a well-functioning supply chain has never been more apparent than during the COVID-19 outbreak. Managing complicated supply networks, in particular, can be difficult for manufacturers.

Enter Assent Compliance, a Canadian firm specialising on supply chain sustainability. Simply put, Assent, based in Ottawa, strives to assist manufacturers in making better judgments about “who they do business with and how their products are sourced,” according to CEO Andrew Waitman.

Today, the company announced that it has raised $350 million in a capital round led by Vista Equity Partners, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. The funding comes on the heels of a $131 million Series C round headed by Warburg Pincus, the company’s largest stakeholder.

For the first five years of its existence, Assent was bootstrapped – from 2010 to 2015. After Waitman took over as CEO, the company raised nearly $500 million and increased its personnel from roughly 20 to 820 today (45 percent of which identify as female). While raising half a billion dollars is normal in the United States, it’s less common in Canada’s innovation landscape.

Assent’s growth trend continues, and according to Waitman, the SaaS company will surpass $100 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) this year, after increasing ARR by more than 50% in the previous year. GE Appliances, Polaris, Stryker, and Escatec are among its customers.

Product compliance, trade compliance, and ESG — or Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance — are all areas where the organisation provides enterprise-wide supply chain sustainability solutions. Assent has built a reputation for focusing solely on complicated manufacturing. By focusing on that area, it has been able to create “the industry’s greatest network of supplier intelligence,” according to the company. It assists complicated manufacturers in proactively identifying and managing risk, accelerating market access and growth, and enhancing brand reputation.

ottawabased assent compliance saas 350m 1b ann

Assent’s compliance platform allows teams within a firm to have consolidated access to supply chain data. It automates data gathering and validation, as well as providing “configurable” reporting, so that customers can “keep ahead” of their data needs.

“The growing complexity and scale of regulations, as well as differing standards around the world, combined with a greater focus on ESG, offers challenges for organisations across industries, particularly for manufacturers,” Waitman added. “Assent provides deep insight and timely transparency to help ensure that products are created in accordance with environmental and human rights standards that are required to compete — and win — in future marketplaces.”

The business intends to utilise the fresh funds primarily to expand in Europe, with the goal of eventually entering the Asian market and increasing headcount by 40% across sales, services, engineering, customer success, and marketing.

Waitman told TechCrunch that manufacturing accounts for 20% of GDP. “It’s a massive market.”

The transaction was led by Vista’s Foundation Fund, which invests in middle-market companies looking to scale and accelerate their growth. The Assent board of directors will welcome Patrick Severson, co-head of the Vista Foundation Fund, and Jake Hodgman, managing director of the Foundation Fund, from Vista.

Companies throughout the world are being pressured to guarantee that they source their components and raw materials ethically and responsibly, whether from government regulations or from consumers and partners who expect them to meet higher standards, according to Severson. When it comes to using technology to solve enterprise supply chain concerns, Assent is “ahead of the curve.”

“Assent’s solution enables businesses to reduce brand and reputation risk while also being better corporate citizens,” said Severson. “Complex manufacturers are increasingly being scrutinised for how they manage their supply chains. In a future centred on manufacturers embracing supply chain sustainability best practises, Assent is well positioned to be a clear leader.”

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