Previse, a fintech startup focused on helping suppliers get faster payment, announced that it has raised $11 million in new funding led by Reefknot Investments and Mastercard. Returning investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Hambro Perks and Augmentum Fintech also participated.
Founded in 2016, Previse says it currently processes about 100,000 invoices a day, and its goal is to handle payments for five million suppliers within the next five years.
This round brings Previse’s total raised so far to more than $21.8 million and will be used to expand its InstantPay product to more corporate buyers around the world. Previse is taking part in Mastercard’s Start Path accelerator program. Reefknot was founded by Temasek Holdings and Kuehne + Nagel last year to invest in logistics and supply chain startups.
Paul Christensen, the founder and CEO of Previse, told TechCrunch that InstantPay allows corporate buyers to send quick payments to suppliers by using machine-learning based technology to analyze historical data and predict which invoices can be paid immediately, and which ones are potentially higher risk and need to be checked manually.
Traditional invoice payment methods used by large buyers can take up to months to complete, putting pressure on the cash flow of small- to medium-sized businesses. Christensen said this is due to a combination of corporate policy, including the terms and conditions of a sale, and the amount of administrative tasks, including inputting, checking and approving invoices, that need to be performed. InstantPay can reduce that timeframe down to a day.
Rapid payment to suppliers is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
“The pandemic has put a huge strain on the working capital of companies, large and small, all over the world, causing a severe cash crunch. Previse’s platform can unlock working capital, meaning that the tens of thousands of SME suppliers who supply to a large corporate chain can be paid on day one, rather than having to wait weeks or months,” he said.
“This is critical now when supply chains have been disrupted, but it will also be critical when we come out the other side and there is a demand surge and supplier supplies have to fulfill large orders.”