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Home » Meet the Founder: #3 – Andrew Zhyvolovych (Precoro)

Meet the Founder: #3 – Andrew Zhyvolovych (Precoro)

We’re back with the second in our series of blogs where we ask a few thoughtful questions to the Founder of a procurement software company!

Every month we do this, our goal is to get to know them personally and also their product a little better.

By doing this, we shine a light on some of the lesser-known solutions. These 5-minute insights are perfect to read on a coffee break if you’re keen to grow your knowledge of digital procurement tools.

Up this month is Andrew Zhyvolovych, Founder and Managing Director of UK-based procurement performance management tool Precoro.

You can also find Precoro in our Software Finder App here.

So, over to Andrew to tell us a bit more about him and about Precoro…


Image of Andrew Zhyvolovych


1.  Could you give us a quick intro of your background? What did you do before you founded Precoro? Where are you based?

Glad to talk to you. Thank you for inviting me. Before starting Precoro, I built other companies. I founded a gift card platform that serves B2B and B2C clients across Europe, including Spain, Germany, and Poland. I’m no longer involved in operations. I also worked in investment banking as an equity trader and at Groupon, a famous US company that sold vouchers and discounts for various services. Now, I’ve been working on Precoro for eight or nine years.


2.  Give us a brief overview of the problem you set out to solve when you started Precoro?

Yeah, we felt a huge need for an easy-to-use tool to manage procurement tasks, especially for purchasing. Many small and mid-sized businesses still use Google Spreadsheets to manage their budgets and approve requests via email and Slack, which isn’t efficient. We wanted to build an international company, so we started selling in the US first to prove ourselves. We aimed to be 100% responsible for our results and face challenges head-on, which still motivates us to improve our product and get more clients.


3. Which geographical territories, business sizes, and industry sectors are you most active in?

Sure. We’re targeting North America but also have many clients in the UK and Europe. Our platform supports multiple languages, serving clients in German, Spanish, and French. We have clients from almost 80 countries, including Asia and Africa, although we don’t work with countries like Iran or Russia.


4. What makes you different from your competitors?

The competition is significant in the upper market, especially for enterprises, with companies like SAP and Oracle. However, in the small and mid-sized segment, we are very strong. Not many companies can solve problems for mid-sized businesses and be competitive in pricing. We are industry agnostic, serving various clients, including fast-growing businesses and more conservative sectors like healthcare and private education in Europe. We deliver the best value for money, allowing businesses to start small and scale easily.


5. What do you see as the biggest challenge as Founder of a procurement tech business?

The biggest challenge isn’t the technology but building a great team. Hiring the best talent and onboarding them properly, especially in technical roles like product managers and developers, takes time. I’m still responsible for HR because it’s crucial. With good, motivated people, we can build anything. The challenge is delivering what the market expects quickly and covering more complex client processes. My priority is ensuring we have a strong team.


6. Why do you think that this particular challenge is the biggest?

Nowadays, it’s difficult to find people with enough ownership. Building connections is vital. We invest time in moving people between offices, spending time with them, and helping them succeed. Remote work makes it challenging to build relationships. We’ve had salespeople with us for over five or six years, which is beneficial because they know the product well. Execution is crucial, and it depends on the team.

Especially in the US, we’ve found it hard to recruit sales representatives with the right experience and mindset. Salespeople need to understand the product and the client’s needs to be valuable. Our clients buy solutions, not just software, so we invest heavily in onboarding and helping them succeed to reduce churn, which is a top metric for us.


7.  Can you share what you think will be the major trends in procurement technology over the next three to five years?

The goal is to build products that are easy to use, reducing manual work. We have many integrations with accounting systems and retailers for automated approvals. Reporting is crucial, especially in Europe with regulations like ESG and CSRD.

We’re building models to help clients with supply chain transparency. An AI use case which is also important is for matching purchase orders with invoices, a core part of procurement transparency. We’re investing in AI models with Google to improve this process.


8. What has surprised you the most when it comes to working with procurement professionals?

I actually love working with procurement professionals. They are pragmatic, reasonable, and competitive. We typically work with financial departments to cover indirect procurement processes. They are logical and want value for their money, making them also great clients to work with.


9. If you had a spontaneous 5 minute chat in a hotel bar or conference reception with a CPO, what would you say to them?

First, I would ask questions to understand their challenges, processes, and goals. We never start by selling; we need to know about their business, growth, existing systems, approval processes, budgets, and more. Our customer success team can solve almost any problem, but understanding the client’s needs is crucial. We have different packages and functionality, and we customize our solutions.


10. Finally, when you’re not working, what do you do to relax and unwind?

I try to spend more time with my family. I have two small children. I enjoy reading, spending time in nature, running, working out, and traveling. I love my work, so there’s no clear line between personal and work life. I’m flexible and think about work when relaxing and vice versa.