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Q&A with Relish CEO Ryan Walicki

Volition Press: Let’s start off by explaining what Relish does and the problems Relish solves.

Ryan Walicki: Relish is a platform-centric, SaaS based software company with the goal of helping our customers maximize their investments in their IT infrastructure. For us, that means providing solutions that extend, collaborate, and complement the investments they’ve made in ERPs and procurement and supply chain software by essentially providing apps that make their systems work better.

VP: What is the founding story of Relish?

RW :My second job out of school was as a Partner at a consulting firm where I was, primarily in the Spend Management IT space. I spent 15 years going into buildings and meeting with customers talking about process, technology, people, and instituting solutions. First hand, I was able to get a point of view on how customers feel about these IT investments, what these solutions can do, and more importantly what they can’t do. This was the genesis for Relish. As a service provider it is really hard to alter the software and in today’s cloud world you just can’t. It is what it is. We felt with our experience and knowledge we could create products that complement enterprise software and give customers a solution that makes them feel good about their IT investments.

VP: How is the third-party ecosystem in the procurement logistics space doing? Are there any key relationships that you want to highlight?

RW: Since COVID, the procurement, supply chain, risk management, and sanctions topics are hot. Companies are looking to reduce risk from a cyber security perspective as well as improve efficiency and operations. The main focus of our go-to-market strategy is to collaborate and partner with enterprise software companies, which in kind is valuable to both their customers and our customers.

VP: Switching gears for a moment, why did you decide to work with Volition as your investment partner?

RW: There were a few key points that were important to us. First, we wanted a partner that would let us operate. Second, we wanted a partner that valued us in their portfolio. Not that other funds wouldn’t have valued us, but the bigger funds can make you feel like a number on a scoresheet. We felt that we were valued and Volition wanted to invest not only money but time and intelligence into our company. Third, the people we work with is very important. We spent a lot of time with Roger and Dave and felt good about their points of view – which were similar to ours. They challenged us, even in the process, on certain ideas and topics of our go-to-market strategy. And culturally we aligned, so it  was clear that Volition was the right choice for Relish.

VP: With the $10M Relish has raised how do you plan to invest that capital into your growth?

RW: We are taking a balanced approach and investing in all facets: Sales and Marketing, Product, IT, and Customer Success. As a tech company, we will invest in R&D and innovate our current products as well as develop new solutions. From a Sales and Marketing perspective, we will add more people. We have a machine that is working so we therefore want to add more sharp people to maximize our reach. Then, from a Customer Success perspective, coming into this raise we did not have a dedicated Customer Success function. An early significant investment has gone in that direction. You take care of your customers first and foremost and the rest tends to take care of itself.

VP: Finally, is Relish actively incorporating AI into the platform and products?

RW: We are. Everyone will say they are now leveraging AI, but we were doing it in the years leading up to Relish. By definition, AI is not new. Workflow in an application can be considered AI if it artificially knows who the next approver is. All of our solutions are rooted in AI and AI is built into the Relish platform. All of our applications, processes, and reporting, leverage our AI and  machine learning (ML) layers.

-Volition Press


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