How AI and NLP accelerate contract lifecycle management (CLM), Icertis raises $150M

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Traditional contract lifecycle management (CLM) tools focus on improving document workflows. However, Icertis seeks to take the field to the next level with contract intelligence that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automatically extract contract data at scale. These tools are designed to structure contracts’ commercial, legal and operational data and connect that data to procurement, ERP and human capital management apps to help companies accelerate revenue, reduce costs, improve risk management and ensure compliance. 

When VentureBeat previously covered Icertis in 2019, the CLM market was expected to be worth $3.16 billion by 2023. However, contract intelligence connects contract data to other systems to drive a much larger market that MGI Research predicts will reach $30 billion by 2026.

“In this economic downturn, we believe contracts, which govern every dollar in and out of the enterprise, will emerge as the go-to asset because they are an untapped source of invaluable business value to reduce costs, manage risk, ensure compliance and drive revenue,” Icertis CEO and chairman Samir Bodas told VentureBeat. ”To help improve its position in the growing CLM market, Icertis today announced it has raised $150 million in funding from Silicon Valley Bank.

Rapid growth for Icertis

Icertis has quickly grown over the last couple of years and currently claims to manage over 10 million contracts worth more than $1 trillion in over 40 languages and 90 countries, according to the company. It has also formed over a dozen new partnerships, including one to make Icertis the CLM partner of choice for SAP. This partnership includes a joint engineering and product roadmap and deep integration into SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors.

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The company also launched AI Studio, a self-serve, self-learning cognitive tool that uses AI to generate contract intelligence for real-time insights and decision-making. 

In 2021, Icertis launched a vertical CLM solution to make it easier to integrate contract data across partners. These vertical solutions come with various contract types, rules to identify obligations, bundled integrations, and workflow and reporting dashboards to support specific challenges for each industry.

Differentiating with better integration for CLM

Competitors include companies like DocuSign, Conga, Agiloft and Oracle. Bodas said Icertis differs from these competitors through efficiencies in contract creation and negotiation and its AI, ML and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. This helps companies automate processes, maximize contract value and ensure compliance.

“This new funding will enable us to accelerate our business while others scale back,” Bodas said. “From a development perspective, we will double-down on creating AI and business applications that help customers realize the intent of their commercial agreements, adding to the long list of applications we already deliver, such as obligation management, rebate management, and supplier onboarding and diversity compliance.

”Tools such as Icertis’s demonstrate the value of using NLP to connect the dots between business applications and processes in various domains. For example, in the medical industry, John Snow Labs uses NLP to connect doctors’ notes, medical records, billing systems and research tools. In industries that rely on physical documents, NLP is helping to bridge the gap between text documents, digital twins and digital threads.

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