Rapid adoption of digital payments has become a major challenge for financial groups. According to one report, teams spend 40% of their time processing. They say disparate, unstructured data is to blame. In a separate survey, 48% of teams see fragmented data as the biggest obstacle to closing their books.
Tal Kirschenbaum knows the struggle well. At Melio, a business-to-business (B2B) payment platform, he worked for small companies, where financial groups saw themselves as victims of their own success.
“Some companies have payments expertise and can invest R&D resources to solve the problem, but for most businesses, that’s not an option,” Kirschenbaum told TechCrunch in an email interview. And they are forced to act as ‘human glue’ to bring others together.
That Kirschenbaum wrote in 2010 He co-founded fintech startup Ledger in 2022 with Assaf Kotzer and Ariel Weiss. On Ledge’s part, he hopes to enable financial professionals to better manage day-to-day tasks such as monitoring and alerting, as well as add strategic insights. at last.
Ledge automates multiway reconciliation, ensuring that a company’s internal payment record matches the transactions in its bank statement. as well It enables real-time account creation by updating the company’s balance sheet by linking to the existing one. Data, payments and banking infrastructure.
“Lage’s big data pipeline aggregates and normalizes data from multiple sources,” added Kirschenbaum. “The platform’s AI supports predictive rule building and smart matching, as well as insights and predictions. And it offers pre-built integrations and a drag-and-drop interface that can be configured by finance teams in a matter of hours.
From Ledge’s dashboard, companies can view aggregate accounts across accounting and financial service providers. You’ll also get AI-powered recommendations on how to optimize payments and expenses.
“Lage learns how finance teams work to automate their workflows and gain insights from their payment operations. This type of learning is often about identifying patterns or anomalies (such as failed payments),” Kirschenbaum explains. Access to collections allows for day-to-day optimization of cash flow forecasting and treasury management across business models and industries.”
It’s early days for Ledge, which Kirschenbaum says currently has a handful of clients. But he sees that the company stands alone in the depth of what it offers.
“Finance teams that process large volumes of digital payments and complex payment collections have been underserved in the market until now, so our main competition is mostly the status quo – that is, finance teams that need to manually aggregate large amounts of data from multiple sources into a spreadsheet,” Kirschenbaum said. he said. “There are solutions on the market that try to solve this problem, such as Smart Treasury, Move and Sequential, but rather than being tailored to finance teams, most of them are API-driven and focused on R&D teams implementing and maintaining them. They are also inherently more payment-savvy than most companies and primarily finance. They will be focused on fintech companies that are moving towards automation.
Investors agree, it seems. Ledge this week closed a $9 million seed round led by NEA along with Vertex Ventures, FJ Labs and Picus Capital. By injecting new cash, Ledge will introduce advanced treasury management capabilities, improve platform algorithms, strengthen customer acquisition efforts and grow the company’s workforce, Kirschenbaum said.
Ledge has undoubtedly benefited from cross-industry demand for financial automation technologies. According to a recent Gartner survey of CFOs, one-third said they will prioritize investments in back office automation technologies in the next year.
Investors’ economic fears will prompt companies to increase their efforts to control costs, which will increase the demand for automation equipment. According to Pitchbook (cited by The Wall Street Journal), AI-powered accounting software startups raised $233.3 million in investment capital between January 2022 and the end of March 2022, up from $210.2 million for all of 2021.
Jonathan Golden, partner at New Enterprise Associates, said in an emailed statement, “As the percentage of B2B payments flowing into digital channels increases, and as the number of businesses with complex financial operations grows, it is becoming increasingly important to have a tool to reduce the workload of the finance team… Built for finance teams by finance professionals; We believe that the founders are ready to face this challenge as they have faced the problem themselves.