25. Enable

Company: Enable

Founder(s): Andrew Butt and Denys Shortt

Website: https://enable.com/

Description: A collaboration platform aimed at maximising B2B deal performance, improving operational efficiency and financial transparency.

 

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Co-founders Andrew Butt and Denys Shortt OBE met while learning to fly helicopters at age 16. Denys was already an established entrepreneur building the DCS Group, the largest distribution company for health, beauty and household products in the UK.

DCS wanted a smart, efficient way to manage its many complex trading agreements with suppliers and customers. But it couldn’t find a single solution that met all its needs forcing DCS to resort to Excel spreadsheets which are prone with errors and not up to the job.

Denys and Andrew realised that the complex rebate agreements that were giving DCS a headache were also giving problems to every other distributor in over 50 other sectors. There are more than $1 trillion of B2B rebates in North America and Europe with the vast majority being managed poorly.

The co-founders had initially built a custom solution for DCS and version 1.0 was not the most pretty. But every manufacturer, customer and buying group who saw it, wanted to purchase it.

At the time, Denys and Andrew had a steadily growing and profitable software engineering business, with a team of 100 supporting customers in many sectors. But the opportunity to launch a SaaS product to solve the rebate problem was so compelling that the co-founders pivoted the whole company in this new direction.

They saw the opportunity to disrupt this dusty space and create a new category so Andrew relocated with his wife, 2 dogs and cat from the UK to San Francisco at the beginning of 2020. They sailed the Atlantic on QM2 and then drove from New York to SF in 4 nights in an RV.

Andrew knew that to accelerate business growth they’d need to raise funding – continuing to bootstrap would be too slow – so Andrew pitched up in Silicon Valley and met a few great VCs.

Andrew explained the vision of Enable and demonstrated the size of the opportunity, showing what had been achieved so far. He claims, “My initial goal was to raise $10M of Series A funding. We had so much interest that we closed the Series A at $16M in March 2020 led by Menlo Ventures with participation from Sierra Ventures, in our first ever equity raise.”

Enable rebate management software empowers distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers to make better trading decisions to drive mutually profitable growth, while improving cash flow and reducing risk. Enable have more merchants and suppliers in the UK and US than any other comparable software solution.

Andrew’s plan is to take the business to IPO and beyond.