Toronto based Tealbook is being recognized with a venture capital investment for its use of artificial intelligence (AI) in revolutionizing the world of supplier procurement.

CEO and founder, Stephany Lapierre told IT World Canada that securing funding as a female and first-time tech founder hasn’t always been easy. With a background of women entrepreneurs in her family, she didn’t expect to face the obstacles she did.

“I never label myself as a female founder [but] it became more apparent when I was fundraising,” she said. “Mostly in comments…sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously you hear things, and you just have to smile because you know that it’s more gender specific. So it was definitely brought to my attention.”

The supply chain management solution developer’s CEO talked to IT World Canada about the recent funding it received from BDC’s Women in Technology Venture Fund (WIT) and her hopes for the future of Tealbook.

Tealbook CEO and founder Stephany Lapierre.

“What’s most innovative about Tealbook today is that it really changes how companies connect and make provisions to partner together,” said Lapierre.

“The other platforms that exist today are static databases or portals that are vertically focused,” she continued. “There is no platform that has an agnostic and horizontal view of their database. Tealbook offers a real-time view that is constantly augmented and preserved, which makes the information more relevant and useful to our clients.”

The company’s AI, developed in-house, also plays a key role in setting Tealbook apart from other supplier management systems, Lapierre said.

The Canadian startup’s platform uses AI to analyze companies and suppliers, creating a social media-like database that allows enterprises to make the best partnerships based on their specific needs.

The teams at Tealbook have been recognized by the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) Top 20, Gartner Cool Vendor List 2018 and Sourcing Industry Group for their innovative work.

The company was also recently recognized and received seed funding from the Business Development Bank of Canada’s WIT fund, which solely provides investments to women-led tech companies.

Tealbrook customers on Fortune 500 list

Tealbook has secured $4.7 million in funding to date and Lapierre hopes to use that capital to continue their growth and continue developing what they have already established.

In recent years the platform has found success among Fortune 500 companies like Biogen, which invites supplier companies to register with Tealbook if they want to connect or work with Biogen.

Lapierre plans to use the WIT funding to support their Fortune 500 partners and their clients, continuing their growth in the supplier management industry.

“We think we have an amazing opportunity to build the most trusted, most talented and most robust B2B network,” said Lapierre. “Tealbook hopes to change the way enterprises make decisions and it will significantly change procurement functions to give a lot more scale and strategic direction. Everything that we’re doing is making sure that we are the market leader.”

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