Canada's OutsideIQ, SAP Ariba partner to tackle compliance, risk

TORONTO (Reuters) - OutsideIQ, a Canadian startup which uses cognitive computing to analyze data, is partnering with the world’s largest business commerce network, SAP Ariba, to help corporations quickly screen vendors for risk and regulatory compliance, they said.

Companies spend a significant portion of their budget on meeting regulatory requirements. OutsideIQ’s software can do 80 percent of the error-prone work done by humans for a few dollars or tens of dollars in minutes instead of days, OutsideIQ founder and Chief Executive Dan Adamson said.

The partnership with Ariba, a subsidiary of German software giant SAP, is set to be unveiled later this month, the companies said in interviews this week. They declined to provide financial details.

OutsideIQ’s computing platform emulates a researcher analyzing enormous amounts of data, and can be trained in functions such as underwriting. Programs built on the platform are used by insurance companies, large asset managers, lenders, investment banks, and Exiger, the world’s largest regulatory compliance consulting firm.

The partnership marks a significant move by OutsideIQ, which has focused on financial institutions, to compliance in other sectors, Adamson said.

Companies can “collapse that due diligence process from days to minutes,” he said. “On the banking side, it becomes a no-brainer to reduce costs.”

Real-time vetting is a “game changer,” said Padmini Ranganathan, head of products and innovation at Ariba, whose network of 2.5 million businesses has over $1 trillion in transactions annually.

Such technologies help companies screen vendors more thoroughly, she said.

“Now, I don’t have to think about my top 1,000 suppliers, I can actually do this with my 40,000 suppliers. It’s not going to take time or cost from me, it’s going to happen from day one.”

OutsideIQ, whose revenue has tripled in two years, has invested heavily in research and development and does not expect to be profitable for another year, Adamson said.

It is also considering options such as another round of financing later this year.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Richard Chang