Cash management – keeping track of who owes an invoice and whether it has been paid – can make or break a business. Now, a startup building SaaS software to help finance departments manage it more intelligently is announcing some expansion funding after strong demand.
Growth fin, a Singapore- and San Francisco-based fintech startup that provides SaaS to finance departments to track and collect payments and help manage the accounts receivable process, has raised Series A funding of $7.5 million. The company plans to use this funding to further expand in the US and Asia, as well as build even more AI-based technology to expand its platform. Next up: a forecasting tool that predicts trends “based on past payment behavior and current debtor data via Growfin.”
Singapore-based SWC Global led the funding round with participation from existing lenders 3one4 Capital and angel investors. The startup touts that the latest funding comes as a result of an eight-fold growth in customer numbers over the past 12 months, during which Growfin has helped clients collect more than $1 billion in accounts receivable (AR). Growfin has now raised a total of $9 million and is not disclosing its value.
Growfin is tapping into a mature market, not least because of the current economic climate and the pressure it puts on businesses of all sizes.
A recent report from Gartner found that 78% of CFOs have invested in automation and technology for cash flow visibility. But while they are increasingly willing to pay for tools that help them plan for the future, many still rely on spreadsheets when it comes to current accounts, exposing a gap between understanding a company’s current financial condition and know how that relates to what it looks like in a week, month or year.
Growfin’s first product was an AI-powered CRM for finance, which finance, sales and customer success teams could use to connect in one place to handle customer relationships during payment and cash collection processes, a smart bridging product that talks about how pulling accounts receivable departments could sometimes do better if they could join forces and knowledge with those who manage most of the customer relationship before that point. (And yes, a smoother experience could lead to more sales in the future.)
Instead of building an AR automation product, the company created a financial CRM that not only automates workflows for accounts receivable, but also provides the right collaboration capabilities and real-time visibility for sales, customer success, and customers themselves in one place (where they all see the same information).
That first step towards greater financial visibility was a success. Growfin’s primary users are currently scaling B2B technology companies across SaaS, adtech, logistics technology and edtech, and it now has 25 clients including intercom, Four-flyers, Mind tickling, LeadSquaredAnd Quick-drying restorationGrowfin co-founder and CEO Aravind Gopalan told australiabusinessblog.com. It mainly sells to customers who are finance teams, although as you might guess revenue generating teams like sales and customer success are also users of its service. The startup says it now has $400,000 in annual recurring revenue since launching 12 months ago.
Intercom uses Growfin to automate and track its collections activities, integrate with NetSuite, Zuora and Salesforce and provide real-time insight to finance leaders, explains Gopalan. “We helped them reduce their collection cycle from 91 days to 59 days in a 5-month period, improving collection efficiency by 35%,” he said.
Locus, a logistics tech startup that uses Growfin to resolve billing disputes to collect payments faster, claims it has improved their teams’ productivity by 60% in 10 months, Gopalan said.
Founded in 2021 by Gopalan and Raja Jayaram, the co-founders told australiabusinessblog.com that they held meetings with more than 200 financial leaders around the world when the product was still in development to better understand the issues they typically face . The resounding message was that finance teams were dissatisfied with old spreadsheet-based systems and the costly prospect of simply hiring more people as a solution to the time-consuming workload.
“Accounts receivable management and collection of payments are often complex and more complex as businesses grow. Despite the growth of ERPs and CRMs like Salesforce and Netsuite, my understanding is that 90% of finance teams still run their AR (account receivables) processes outside of these tools, usually on spreadsheets or internal databases,” said Gopalan. “This collaborative approach provides greater efficiency and transparency, and builds trust between customers and businesses to collect B2B payments faster.”
It employs 40 people and plans to double its workforce this year in the US, where most of its clients are based, and in Asia.
Growfin’s competitors include HighRadius, Upflow, Tesorio, YayPay and Gaviti. ERP service providers are an indirect rival, Gopalan said.
“Growfin’s AI-powered system is poised to disrupt the way companies collect their invoice payments by sitting on top of ERP systems like Netsuite and Microsoft dynamics that dominate the industry,” said Tuck Lye Koh, Founder of SWC Global. “They have over 100,000 customers worldwide, and now finance teams who are beholden to these systems can plug into Growfin to gain a deeper and broader view of their financial well-being with real-time cash flow efficiency and forecasting.”