I’m extremely humbled but happy to share that April 12, 2022, marked Cleo’s 10-year anniversary!
Milestones like this present a great opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments and recommit to future goals.
More important, it’s a time to appreciate the good fortune we have -- to work with each other, innovate, and help our customers, partners, and employees succeed, all while making the world a better place through advances in B2B integration technology.
We’ve certainly made a lot of progress in the past 10 years and Cleo’s future is very bright. Here’s a review of how we’ve done it, and where we’re headed.
In 2012 a group of investors and I bought a small company with a terrific data movement platform and highly loyal customers – the original Cleo.
Essentially, we felt we’d found a “diamond in the rough” that provided the foundation we needed to change B2B integration for the better.
The growth opportunity we saw in Cleo was supported by the direct supply chain technology heading at the time: Ecommerce-driven digital transformation was taking hold, and the relentless speed of this change and the uncertainty it wrought was causing business disruption and supply chain bottlenecks everywhere. We recognized that the data movement alone would never be enough to support the world’s supply chain digitalization in the long term. The world, we felt, did not need any more supply chain infrastructure solutions, but rather real business process automation, which meant making fundamental improvements to what was happening at the integration layer so companies’ essential business processes could be made more efficient.
While others zigged, Team Cleo zagged. That is, while the rest of the integration technology space was gravitating to fashionable iPaaS technologies and holding on to traditional B2B integration approaches, Cleo understood the mission-critical need and timely opportunity to build a new software category by intensively focusing on business-process integration. We studied supply chain integration from that process perspective, i.e., from the outside-in “ecosystem” standpoint of what’s happening at all the connecting points across core end-to-end business processes such as Order-to-Cash, Procure-to-Pay, and Load-Tender-to-Invoice.
We quickly confirmed that our opportunity to stand Cleo apart lay in better understanding the root causes of supply chain disruption and delivering solutions that leveraged the best elements of both the new age iPaaS and traditional B2B integration. After first combining the original Cleo with EXTOL International, and then transforming the resulting EDI / MFT company into the world’s first Ecosystem Integration provider, we worked relentlessly to achieve our vision for an “always-on” digital platform in the cloud at once capable of both batch (EDI) and real-time (API) business process integration, with end-to-end visibility and analytics to help companies proactively capture revenue and increase profitability.
This, in short, is the origin story of Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC), our flagship platform – a scalable, multi-tenant B2B cloud integration solution, which we launched in 2017.
Today, through subsequent innovation, CIC is the only solution that connects and integrates business ecosystems, cloud applications, and marketplaces in real-time to power eCommerce and Fulfillment through a cloud-native, business-process-centric, outside-in approach.
As a technological achievement, CIC’s development marked the arrival of a new era in integration software.
Ecosystem Integration is precisely what companies that are digitally transforming need to achieve success in eCommerce and to attain agility and control in their supply chain business processes.
Since 2012, Cleo has grown 10x in terms of both revenue and employees and gone from having a single location in Rockford, Illinois to become a truly global company with international operations serving our customers’ mission-critical needs 24x7.
Today, CIC is the most complete and flexible B2B integration solution on the market, capable of handling billions and billions of transactions … delivering real-time actionable intelligence for business and technical users alike … and has proven to not just help our customers save money but make money through integration technology investment.
Ten years in, thanks to Cleo’s pioneering leadership, Ecosystem Integration is now a new multi-billion-dollar industry providing software and capabilities to help companies survive and thrive in the face of economic disruption and constrained supply chains.
In many ways, Ecosystem Integration is providing the “rails” for digital transformation -- streamlining the business processes that comprise today’s modern global supply chains by improving them from the ground up.
Our timing couldn’t have been better given the supply chain issues of 2022 and all we’ve lived through over the past few years. Never have supply chain issues received as much mainstream media attention as they are getting today. Nor has popular demand for improvement ever been so urgent.
That’s why, looking ahead, we have even greater ambitions for delivering results to our 4,100+ customers.
We have set a mission to create $50B in value (as measured by Free Cash Flow) for our customers by 2025 and we are well on our way to delivering on that promise.
Yes, Cleo has grown 10x in 10 years, but we could never have done this alone. I’m grateful to our customers, partners, and investors who share insights with us every day about their real-life business opportunities and toughest technology challenges. And I appreciate working with the many amazingly talented Cleoites – we will soon exceed 400 employees worldwide -- who are focused on building an extraordinary customer-centric company that helps companies win in today’s era of eCommerce and digital transformation.
As we like to say, and it’s 100% true – “Cleo … never stops.” Based on all we’ve accomplished together since 2012, I can only believe our next 10 years will be even more impactful than the first 10.
We are indeed grateful.
Onward and upward!