Business-to-business payment decisions start-up Previse has secured an £800,000 research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise to establish a new development centre in Glasgow, creating 37 data science jobs.

Previse applies artificial intelligence to hundreds of millions of data points, resulting in a score accorded to the likelihood that a corporate buyer will ultimately pay a supplier’s invoice. Previse provides the score to funders, principally banks and asset managers, which pay the supplier instantly on the buyer’s behalf. In exchange, suppliers offer a small discount on their invoices. This, says the company, results in reduced transaction costs for buyers, improved working capital for suppliers, and an attractive new asset class for funders.

“Late invoice payments are a global problem,” said David Brown, Previse’s co-founder and chief product officer. “Failing to pay on time for the goods and services is not only morally wrong, it makes no commercial sense. It drives up the cost of business for SME suppliers which, in the end, will feed through into purchasing costs for buyers. After all, there is no such thing as free money.”

It will be the London-based company’s first office in Scotland, from where it plans to start rolling out its first instant-payments programme with a number of multinational buyers.

“Glasgow has become a thriving center of UK financial technology, making it an ideal place for us. We are looking forward to further strengthening our ties to the Scottish business community as well as Scottish academia, through our work with The Data Lab, and support from Scottish Enterprise to take full advantage of the power of artificial technology to tackle late payments once and for all.”

Welcoming the announcement, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is a world renowned centre for expertise in data science and digital technologies and I am delighted to welcome Previse to our thriving financial technology community.

“The Scottish Government is supporting business innovation by providing an additional £15 million a year for research and development, which will aim to help lever in further business expenditure on research and development that will stimulate further economic and employment growth, and develop leading edge expertise.”

Scottish Enterprise, and Scotland’s international arm, Scottish Development International, worked with the company to support it’s move into Glasgow. Sharon Hamilton, international sector head for financial and business services at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The fintech sector could create up to 15,000 new jobs in Scotland over the next decade – and attracting new companies such as Previse to locate here will play a key role in achieving this potential.

“Previse’s technology has the potential to make a significant impact on small businesses operating across the UK and is exactly the kind of innovation that will help grow the sector. We’re delighted the company has recognised Scotland as the right location in which to expand its operations, and look forward to continuing to work with Previse to support its growth ambitions.”