UNIT4 acquire ScanMarket
June 5, 2022

UNIT 4 acquires Source to Contract vendor ScanMarket

By Patrick Chabannes

“The combination will deliver a full Source-to-Pay procurement journey tailored for the needs of midmarket organization.”

ScanMarket, the Danish publisher of the eponymous Source to Contract on-demand solution, is ending more than twenty years of independence by joining the UK’s Unit 4’s dedicated SME application portfolio. The promise at the top of the press release sets the bar very high in the face of a real market need. To be continued…

Do solutions dedicated exclusively to Buyers have a future?

Little known in France, ScanMarket’s Source-to-Contract offers two easy-to-use core modules: eAuction and tender management. 

Founded in Denmark in 1999 by Ole Nielsen, the company has developed without much fanfare in the difficult northern European markets, which turned to Procure to Pay very early on, due to local regulations. 

In January 2019, the takeover for an unknown amount by the investment fund Verdane marked the history of ScanMarket, which was still a small structure of less than 50 people with a hundred or so customers. The arrival of this investment fund changes the situation

  • Expansion of the sales force, implementation of effective marketing, 
  • Acceleration of growth and in 2021,
  • Jan 2021, acquisition of MIA Data (AI technologies, Denmark, 2017, 10p),
  • Oct 2021, acquisition of Symfact (Contract & Compliance, USA, 2002, 50p),

But after only two years Verdane makes its exit, as they say, for an unknown amount. 

Funds sell and buy from funds, technology acquisitions pile up, clients pay and users suffer.

Meanwhile, the Dutch UNIT 4, acquired in 2014 by Advent International ($1.6bn), is being sold, after some acquisitions and partial resale later in 2021, to TA Associate for $2bn. An amount that raises questions. 

Unit4 is not making its first acquisition and the Product Portfolio, well presented by Marketing, hides stacked technical debts raising the following questions: 

  1. Will customers and prospects share this idyllic vision of a Source to Pay?
  2. Will ScanMarket be able to continue its on-demand strategy with its excellent solution?
  3. Will ScanMarket be able to finalise a technological and human integration of its own acquisitions made in Covid’s time?
  4. When will Unit4 offer a Source to Pay solution?

To be continued….

Lectori salutem, Patrick