Venzee Technologies CEO: Pivot to Partner-Selling Model a Success
Venzee Technologies CEO John Sexton Abrams told the Investing News Network how the company’s partner-selling model is creating opportunities for growth.
Venzee Technologies is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that serves as a data-exchange link between product manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. The company’s platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to consolidate and distribute product information across the global retail supply chain. In October 2019, the company announced that it had added two Fortune 1000 manufacturing companies to its roster of clients. In November, the company announced its sixth enterprise partner agreement with leading solution provider EnterWorks®.
These announcements are key milestones for Venzee Technologies because they validate the company’s shift to a partner-selling model focused on large, enterprise-scale supply chain clients. The addition of significant partners and Fortune 1000 clients represents the conclusion of a successful pivot for the company to a model that provides enhanced efficiency and opportunity for growth.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Venzee Technologies CEO John Sexton Abrams. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please provide our investor audience with an overview of Venzee Technologies and its position in the supply chain.
Venzee Technologies CEO John Sexton Abrams: Venzee is a SaaS-based platform and provides intelligent, machine-to-machine integration between brands and retailers. Our revenue model is SaaS-based and grows based on the number of retail endpoints to which we connect a manufacturer. Today Venzee is integrated with more than 175 of the world’s largest retail destinations.
I’m a supply chain veteran. I’ve been in supply chain management for more than 20 years. What Venzee attacks is something that’s a massive problem in the supply chain – manual process.
The idea of setting up a product for retail sale is often a manual process with email or even paper exchange of information. Manual processes are not just inefficient and costly but can result in the selection of the wrong product by a consumer or worse, by a healthcare worker.
What Venzee does is displace all of that manual process with machine-to-machine integration between the manufacturer and the retailer. Our platform takes manual inefficiency out of the supply chain, replacing it with machine-to-machine connections. It’s truly an application program interface on both ends. There’s a little bit of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the middle to ensure that the attributes of the items on one side match the attributes requested at the retailer side.
At Venzee, we’re building the foundation for a future where seamless, accurate, automated data flow simplifies the process, removes friction and creates value for all those that rely on the myriad of data and information surrounding any product, anywhere.
INN: Venzee recently announced the addition of two Fortune 1000 companies as clients, what does this mean for the company?
JSA: It’s actually a really big deal because it signifies that we have effectively completed a pivot that we began about two years ago. When Venzee was founded, our business model was aimed at the SMB (small and medium-sized business) market. Because SMB clients are generally not very sophisticated in terms of their data management process and maturity, those clients require a significant amount of costly support. Even when we’d win those clients, we just couldn’t recoup the cost of supporting that engagement.
We began a pivot two years ago moving to a partner-selling model. We reach out to and engage enterprise partners who provide technical services and platforms within the supply chain. It can be something like an enterprise resource planning company or any number of smaller but critical system suppliers that are in the supply chain market. We contract with partners at a specific rate for our services, and those companies, in turn, provide our platform to their client base. We fulfill a need our partners have to efficiently distribute product content across the supply chain. We do it for a reasonable price and provide a critical value-add for our growing partner base and their enterprise manufacturing clients.
INN: How is Venzee working to drive market adoption in such a large industry?
JSA: The industry is large. If you look at all retail supply chain participants globally, it’s a massive market worth trillions of dollars. It’s a complex space. We try and focus down to a very specific and underserved area – intelligent content exchange. There are very few players doing what we do and even those that we compete with on a daily basis tend to be architected or designed based on technologies that are maybe as old as 30 or 40 years.
When we look at our competition, we outpace them based on our tech. We are a modern application programming interface (API) that allows any of our partners, or any manufacturer, to interface with us in a more modern way. In the olden days, to connect a machine to another machine, it usually required thousands of hours of programming and tech time, and that is a very inefficient and costly process. Because we’re more modern, we really are unique in this space. We don’t have to synchronize a database across the world. We’re one instance, we live in the cloud and we’re accessible instantly anywhere.
We really lean into the market with our tech platform. Our partners further promote us into their selling environment. In fact, the Fortune 1000 clients that I referenced earlier come directly from two different partners expanding their retail channel integrations through our platform.
Currently, we have 175 announced retailer integrations and clients are drawn to us not just because our tech is superior in the market, but because we can add a retail destination within days. For most of our competition, that short cycle to add a destination isn’t achievable. With Venzee, in large part due to our architecture, we can achieve integration very quickly and our clients recognize that speed as real value.
INN: What’s next for Venzee and what role will the channel partners play in the future of the company?
JSA: Channel partners are fundamental for our growth. We intentionally don’t have a large sales team. Our sales to manufacturers are done through our partners. The nice thing about our model is that our partners are exposing us to manufacturers who are pretty mature in their data management and supply chain practices. Mature brands are looking for additional automation to accelerate their retail channel growth. We provide the automation that the retail destination brands need.
The idea that Venzee allows manufacturers to scale their retail presence and revenues as a result of that, makes Venzee certainly very important to any enterprise or any global manufacturer. Our partners are the folks that are bringing us those opportunities. They’re often bringing us opportunities where a global manufacturer has hit a roadblock, often with a competitor of ours. They’re bringing us a challenge that we can address out of the box. We’re making great progress in demonstrating that with many of the large Fortune 500 manufacturers across the globe.
We had a company that came to us with a list of some 350 retail destinations, all of which were outside of North America. These were retailers in Russia, China, India, a number of island territories where our competitors have a lot of difficulty, either with the language or with local connections. We were able to look at that lengthy list and indicate that we could very quickly satisfy the bulk of that list. That is something that our competitors are failing to do, and something that we can uniquely achieve. That’s critical to how manufacturers are going to grow consumer relevance in today’s dynamic retail marketplace.
We currently have six contracted partners and another four or five that are in contract negotiation with us right now. Our contracted partners represent a manufacturing group of more than 85,000. From an investor perspective, when we look at our current total addressable market (TAM), it’s 85,000 brands that are already under contract with one of our partners. As we go into 2020, our focus will be on mining those relationships and continuing to expand our partner relationships.
Because we monetize each retail channel at a particular price point, with our large addressable market and unique technical approach we have a very lucrative opportunity in front of us. Most of our focus in 2019 has been to complete the pivot I mentioned earlier. With validation now that we’ve come through that pivot successfully, we’re going to focus on monetization of the rest of our growing 85,000 manufacturer TAM.
We believe intelligent supply chain functionality is inevitable and will significantly benefit growers, makers, brands, sellers, regulators, and consumers. Venzee is well-positioned for massive growth as the global supply chain moves from manual to more advanced automated processes.
This interview is sponsored by Venzee Technologies Inc. (TSXV:VENZ). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Venzee Technologies Inc., in order to help investors learn more about the company. Venzee Technologies Inc. is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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