After working in both the consulting and Atlanta-based startups space, Michael Otis recognized that small-to-medium-sized businesses faced several challenges while trying to find the right procurement software.
Typically, Otis said the sales and onboarding process for a new procurement platform can take months. “It’s a completely cumbersome thing and if you’re a company of a certain size and have limited resources. It’s just impossible to acquire a solution like that, it’s expensive, and they’re not going to go through an RFP process.”
To help streamline the process, Otis and his co-founder Ryan Muckel built Procoto, a cloud-based, self-service option for companies looking to organize the sourcing stats and other data around multiple vendor contracts. For Otis, the platform helps alleviate the “inherent challenges” that companies and vendors face when working in other procurement software options. “You have one customer buying it, but they are going to interact with their vendors. And if their vendors don’t enjoy using it, it defeats the whole purpose,” Otis told Hypepotamus.
This means building what Otis describes as an Asana-like experience for both companies and vendors. “I use Asana nearly every day, but I have never talked to anyone at Asana because their software is intuitive, it’s user-friendly, and I didn’t need to talk to a salesperson for three weeks in order to get a license. But that’s how all procurement software works today.”
Otis, a Wake Forest University grad, got an early jump into the startup world after founding and running a learning center back near his hometown after graduation. He later went on to be an early employee at both Atlanta-based Rubicon Global and Stord. Muckel brings his background with healthcare-software company Epic.
While the team is only Otis and Muckel at the moment, they will be looking to grow after completing their time with Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 batch and finishing up their seed round.
While the team started to build Procoto in Atlanta, both Otis and Muckel took advantage of the work-from-home flexibility and have set up shop in Florida for the time being.