Why We Believe Marco, Romain, and Estelle Will Change the Way Modern Procurement Teams Manage Purchasing Spend

Visionaries Club
4 min readDec 13, 2023

Founding Team in the Pole Position

Since at Visionaries Club we love partnering with founders way before they start their companies. We always ask ourselves one key question as investors: Are there any other teams in a better position to build this? Meeting Marc-Antoine Lacroix, Romain Libeau, and Estelle Giuly set out to build the next-generation Procurement and Purchasing stack, we had a very clear answer.

It was a spring morning sitting with Marco and Romain in Café Compagnon in Paris. Romain, sitting with his dog Rio in his lap, presented a scene to an outside spectator that might have appeared to be just a few friends coming together to discuss weekend plans. Yet, it was a magical moment for us, understanding that Marco and Romain’s journey with Pivot was set to tackle one of the largest pain points we observed in Procurement teams across the board: radically changing how they manage the Procure-to-Pay chain.

Marco, former CPO & CTO at Qonto, and Romain, former CPO at Swile, were seasoned product operators at two of the leading European fintech unicorns. They both built products that addressed arguably one of the most radical shifts across the enterprise stack: the ever-increasing importance of Strategic Finance. Meeting Estelle, who had been building workflow automation engines as an engineer for years, we understood the rarity in the combination of three exceptional product architects.

Backing teams in the idea stage requires two key secret ingredients. #1: founders with product obsession to solve a massive pain point, and #2: a vast market ripe for change. For #1, our early time spent with the team, well before our investment, showed full clarity of product-centric thinking and their rare ability to develop rapidly and ship products with robust architecture and product interface excellence. Of course, finding creative ways to conduct personal reference calls with minimal bias and unfiltered insights proved tremendously helpful — we are forever grateful to Marco’s mum for speaking with us.

For #2, our experience backing radical challenger teams in the enterprise SaaS space like Pigment (FP&A), Personio (HRIS), Yokoy (Expense management), and Xentral (Micro ERP) helped us understand the disruption momentum in this space. The timing and positioning of Pivot in Procure-to-Pay were perfectly aligned.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to lead a €5m pre-seed round and partner with Marco, Romain, and Estelle, joined by our friends at Cocoa, Emblem, and Anamcara, and with the support of founders from Swile, Qonto, and Personio.

Challenges in Procurement and Purchasing

After the era of monolithic ERPs rooted in the 90s, cloud software emerged, bringing with it accumulated large amounts of debt and causing massive friction from both data architecture and application perspectives. The first layer redefined fundamental enterprise functions like CRM (Salesforce), HCM (Workday), and Procurement (Coupa). The second layer introduced a plethora of specialized tools designed to integrate with these core systems, such as Contract Management (Ironclad, Docusign), Document storage (Dropbox), and Communication (Slack).

These layers, however, left a legacy of fragmented data fabric and disintegrated applications.

Significantly, Procurement and Purchase management involves

  • Complex chain of execution: Budgeting, Intake, Approval, Vendor management, Contract management, PO and invoice matching
  • Input and output from multiple functions: Purchase Requester & Approver, Procurement, Finance, IT, Legal & Security
  • Triaging data from diverse sources and formats: ERP, HR System, Documents, Vendor database, FP&A, Contract Management Tool

Enter Pivot: the Modern Procure-to-Pay OS

With their background as seasoned product builders, Marco, Romain, and Estelle quickly brought Pivot to life and secured its first paying customers within months.

In the enterprise SaaS stack of mid-market companies, the Procure-to-Pay solution is critical. Software applications can be categorized into two buckets: non-mission-critical and mission-critical stacks. The Procure-to-Pay system falls into the latter category. Evidently, Pivot’s critical path is closely tied to delivering excellence across several axes:

  • Rapid implementation and modularity: Setup requires sync across teams of Procurement, Finance, Legal, IT & Security with overarching data and workflow action
  • Full integration into existing stacks: Seamless native integration with core ERP stacks, AP Systems, HRIS, FP&A, Data storage, and Communication tools.
  • Workflow automation: Enabling trigger-based actions across the entire Intake-to-Pay chain.

Today, we are beyond excited to continue our partnership with Marco, Romain, Estelle, and the entire Pivot team, doubling down on our commitment and joining their €20m Series A round.

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Visionaries Club

Visionaries Club is a Berlin-based VC fund backed by a family of leading European entrepreneurs, business angels and family business next-gens