SSON Presents a Startup to Watch: Maistro

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Naomi Secor

The “Procurement On-Demand” Provider

Shortlisted for the SSON 2020 “Startup Zone” Award (Europe)

Maistro joined SSON’s inaugural Startup & Innovation Zone to pitch its solution to the thousands of attendees at SSO Week Live Europe, earlier this year. Delegates voted on their favorite pitches, and Maistro emerged as the runner-up for the Award (the winner was Talent Alpha).

SSON’s Global Managing Director, Naomi Secor, sat down with Philip Shuldham-Legh, CEO (pictured), to find out what makes this business so impressive.


Naomi Secor: Can you share your background and how the idea for Maistro came about?

Philip Shuldham-Legh: Right now we are witnessing a huge digital transformation in procurement to drive down costs and improve customer service, similar to what I’ve experienced during my 25-year career in the BPO contact center space. There is a very real link between the customer service work and procurement, and I’m thrilled to blend my expertise to bring the two together.

In 2019, nearly two trillion pounds were spent in the top 100 consumer marketplaces. We are building on this momentum. In the business world, marketplaces are now quite commonplace for goods, but they are not so common for buying services, which are more complex.  When buying against outcomes there is complexity and uncertainty. We set our mission to simply solve those two challenges: reduce complexity and uncertainty for buyers – and of course deliver savings!

Naomi Secor: What problem are you solving for the shared services and outsourcing community?

Philip Shuldham-Legh: We address the whole challenge of tail spend. Procurement functions are very much focused on ensuring they manage the strategic spend of the business and they often don’t have time to address this lower value but equally valuable spend. It’s particularly difficult for services that are tricky and ad hoc. We provide an end-to-end solution from writing the brief through to paying the providers.

Naomi Secor: Tell us about the Maistro team and the values that set you apart.

Philip Shuldham-Legh: The people who work here! We believe people buy people first, so our people lead on a service-first mantra. We have professionally accredited procurement, professionals and, project management black belts. Our people have spent their entire working lives in procurement, outsourcing and technology and, as a tech business we have some of the best brains in the industry working on our product roadmap – building solutions to overcome the problems facing SSO and GBS professionals.

Our proposition is different, too. We are the only self-funded, on-demand solution for buying these services. It’s simple – we provide the platform, suppliers and managed services as a one-stop shop.

Naomi Secor: Tell us about three critical differentiators.

Philip Shuldham-Legh:  There are many, really. Let’s focus on a few:

First, we set as our vision to serve the procurement function as well as all the non-procurement people around the business who do the buying, and are being asked to follow a business process.

Second, unlike any other technology business, we provide a source-to-pay platform that does all of the legwork of discovering and finding and selecting ad hoc service providers.

Third, we operate a business model where we contract with the suppliers so the buyers don’t have to. The minute clients use our service, we can save them money.

And finally, we provide the governance to ensure that what the buyer thought they were going to get is what they get.


“Looking at services within tail spend, there are hundreds of millions to be saved” – Phil Shuldham-Legh, CEO, Maistro


Naomi Secor: What does the future look like? 

Philip Shuldham-Legh: We are operating in such an exciting space! The speed at which technology is advancing is opening up huge opportunities for companies to truly transform. Looking at services within tail spend, there are hundreds of millions to be saved.

We are excited to help companies with their tail spend – the last real nut to crack for procurement. And while we are pursuing a dream of 100% automation of the time-consuming processes buyers have to go through to find, vet, brief and pay service providers, we are a people business too and so are also looking forward to coming back together as a team, with our clients and suppliers, many who we have never had the chance to meet.

Naomi Secor: How was the experience of taking part in SSON’s Startup Zone?

Philip Shuldham-Legh: It is not easy to make a virtual event truly interactive but you guys did it! The Start-up & Innovation Zone was a superbly engaging experience. In fact, we loved it so much, we are following a similar format at our partner event this month.

The Startup & Innovation Zone opened us to an audience we would never have been able to access as a small startup business. The exposure of the brand was brilliant. Thank you SSON and EY for bringing so many startups to the forefront of your community.

Learn more:

To find out more about next year's Startup Zone, please email Naomi Secor.


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