Careers at Deem
Deem’s mission is to enable businesses to lower costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer loyalty — and to help businesses invest more fully in their people, customers and communities.
Deem is a cloud and mobile commerce company that provides Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS) to businesses and merchants. Founded in 2000 by Patrick Grady, it was originally known as Rearden Commerce, and was widely viewed as one of four pioneers of software-as-a-service (SaaS), along with NetSuite, Salesforce.com, and SuccessFactors. It played a role in commercializing many now standard technologies ranging from web services to card-linked offers to location-based services.
In 2008 the company decided to partner with some banks in an effort to expand its customer base. The banks gained partial ownership as part of a commercial distribution agreement, and subsequently transformed Rearden into a custom development shop. This led to a number of problems, including high operating costs, a dysfunctional organization, and diminished leadership in core businesses. In 2012 Grady lost his patience and separated the firm from the banks, determined to restore its past culture. In 2013 he changed its name to Deem as part of its new outlook.
Following the decoupling, Deem recapitalized the company, reduced operating expenses by over 50%, grew sales in core businesses, increased gross margins, and launched new, successful products. The company also had several rounds of funding, which included a $70 million Series G round in 2013 and a $50 million Series H round in 2014. It is now supported by a group of institutional investors with which it feels comfortable. It serves hundreds of thousands of merchants and businesses and sells everything from office supplies to travel services to yoga classes.
Benefits at Deem
Business model of Deem
Deem has a multi-sided business model, with two interdependent customer segments that are both needed in order to operate:
- Merchants: Vendors provide their contact information and services description in the database so that they can be evaluated.
- Businesses: Organizational employees locate vendors, assess their offerings, contact them if interested, and form a contract if they come to an agreement.
Deem offers three primary value propositions: convenience, customization, and brand/status.
The company’s platform creates convenience by providing the following all-in-one solutions:
- Employee Spend Suite: This suite features applications that enable firms to manage all aspects of indirect spend and reimbursement. Specific applications are Travel, Expense, Shipping, and Shopping, all of which are provided on a single interface. The suite integrates preferred vendors, negotiated rates, and company policy, avoiding noncompliance issues and out-of-policy spend.
- Procurement Professional Suite: This suite features applications that enable finance departments and procurement officers to measure employee spending and find/contract with vendors. It covers all aspects of the vendor selection process from RFP creation to vendor identification to the renewal of contracts. Specific applications include Sourcing, Contract Management, Spend Analytics, and Catalog Management.
- Car Service or Operators Suite: This suite features applications that enable advanced vehicle reservations, ride hailing, and ground transportation management. Specific applications include Fleet Management, Deem Driver, Deem Mobile, and Affiliate Connect.
The company’s platform facilitates customization by enabling top companies to white-label all of its network capabilities under their brands through its configurable applications and APIs.
The company has developed a strong brand due to its success. Its ecosystem includes more than 100,000 vendors, 34,000 business customers (including many Fortune 500 firms), and 40 channel partners. It features 11 million products and services that lead to billions in annual transactions.
Deem’s main channel is direct sales, through which it acquires most customers. The company also markets its products through its website and social media pages.
In addition, it promotes its offerings at conferences and conventions it attends throughout the year.
Deem’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website includes several resources for self-help, including fact sheets, white papers, videos, and a blog.
That said, there is also a personal assistance component as the firm offers phone and e-mail support.
Deem’s business model entails maintaining a common platform between two parties: businesses and merchants.
Deem partners with many companies in relevant industries to help deliver its commerce network to customers. Partner groups are as follows:
- Business Services: The company works with NetSuite.
- Travel Services: The company works with Adelman Travel, American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Direct Travel, Enterprise Holdings, and Travel Leaders.
- Travel Management: The company works with over a dozen firms, including ATC Travel Management, Executive Travel Consultants, Peak Travel Group.
Deem operates the Preferred Partner Program, through which it encourages anyone to provide leads on partners. If a submitted lead closes within the space of 180 days, the provider receives a bonus based on the deal’s total booking value.
Deem’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, through which it connects 34,000 business customers and 100,000 merchants. The company also depends on engineering and service staff to enhance the platform and provide support to customers, respectively.
The company places a priority on its intellectual property, and has 41 issued patents with 24 more on file.
Lastly, as a startup, it has relied heavily on financial resources, raising $492.5 million from 15 companies as of July 2014.
Deem has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition to customers. Its biggest cost driver is likely research and development expenses, a fixed cost and an area in which it makes significant ongoing investments. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing, and administration.
Deem has one revenue stream: the subscription fees it charges merchants and businesses for access to its platform. No information is available regarding pricing.
info: Patrick spent a decade in several executive and venture capital roles in the tech industry, leading investments in startups. In addition to Deem, he co-founded CardLinx Association. He acts as an advisor to many mobile and cloud firms, such as WSO2.
info: Carol earned a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She previously offered consulting services to a variety of technology companies in sectors ranging from software to manufacturing. Her past roles include CFO of PINC Solutions and Saba Software.
info: Gabriel earned a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law. He previously served as VP and General Counsel at Ariba and Corporate Counsel at Oracle Corporation. He has 20 years of legal experience.
info: Ken previously served as Founder and CEO of Strevus, a compliance information exchange provider, CTO of Informatica, Founder and CEO of Siperian, and VP of Engineering at eGain and Inference Corporation. He has 25 years of experience in the tech sector.
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