Previse, the AI-powered business payments firm, has raised US$7m in a Series A funding round.
The funding round was led by listed European fintech specialist Augmentum Fintech PLC and one of the world’s pre-eminent venture capital firms, Bessemer Venture Partners. It also includes participation from Hambro Perks and existing and new angel investors.
Earlier this year, London-based Previse created 37 data science jobs in Glasgow, following an £800,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise. The Data Lab’s chief executive, Gillian Docherty, sits on its advisory board.
Slow business to business (B2B) payments caused by inefficient payment terms cost the world’s businesses US$300bn every year.
Large buyers suffer as well, because a supplier’s expensive cost of borrowing is priced into the cost of the goods or services supplied. They are also perceived to be taking advantage of their suppliers and are facing a growing public and political backlash as a result.
Previse enables buyers to have all their suppliers paid instantly, as soon as the buyer receives an invoice. It uses machine learning technology to root out the invoices which are unlikely to be paid, allowing a funder to pay the rest immediately. The small fee paid by the supplier for instant payment is shared between the buyer, the funder and Previse.
Bessemer Venture Partners is America’s longest-standing venture capital firm. It has a global portfolio and has invested in companies such as LinkedIn, DocuSign, and Box. Augmentum Fintech is a listed fintech-focused venture capital investor and its portfolio includes leading UK fintech companies such as Zopa, Interactive Investor, and Seedrs.
Charles Birnbaum, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, said: “It is incredible that so much of global B2B commerce is conducted so wastefully, causing suppliers to fail and increasing expenses for buyers.
“Previse’s clever approach and unique technology allows business to avoid the costs and inefficiencies associated with delayed payment terms and can transform the prospects of many businesses that are supplying to large corporations around the world.”
Tim Levene, chief executive of Augmentum Fintech, said: “When we are selecting fintech companies to invest in, as well as looking for new, highly scalable business concepts, we are also looking for an extraordinary management team.
“Previse has bought together a talented, resilient and dynamic team with world-class expertise in trade finance, data science and technology. This is exactly the team to bring instant payments to the world of B2B commerce.”
Since its founding in 2016, Previse has grown rapidly, signing up seven large organisations as well as receiving significant demand for its InstantPay technology from some of the world’s largest companies. The Series A funding will help scale Previse’s business to meet this demand, onboard clients and further develop its technology.
Paul Christensen, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Previse, said: “We opened our doors to customers just over 12 months ago. Since then, we’ve seen huge interest in our instant payment programme from governments and corporates.
“Among CFOs at large corporations, there is a real understanding of the huge inefficiencies in the current B2B commerce model and a desire for a solution. With this funding, we will be able to grow our model to meet this demand and ensure that every supplier in the world has the option to be paid instantly.”
(Pictured: Co-founder Paul Christensen with communications adviser Alex Prigent-Labeis).