Upflow Raises $15m - Join Our Mission to Revolutionize B2B Payments
Today is a celebration day for the team here at Upflow, and we’re happy to share it with our users, customers, and partners. Three years after getting started, we’re pleased to share that we’ve closed a $15 million Series A funding round to further our mission to revolutionize how B2B businesses get paid.
We started with a simple idea addressing an obvious problem: B2B businesses still struggle to get paid in 2021. And since our founding three years ago, Upflow has helped hundreds of B2B companies improve their cash flow with our best-in-class software. But with this round, we’re eager to take Upflow to the next step.
After YCombinator investing in 2020, this funding round brings on new investors from 9yards Capital and experienced operators such as Maximilian Tayenthal of N26; Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty of Uber, and Raffael Johnen of auxmoney. We’re also welcoming Andrew Nutter (former co-CEO of Westwing) to our board. We’re in good company to move to the next stage of our journey.
Getting paid for B2B businesses, is this 2021 or 1981?
We started Upflow with a simple idea. If companies have so many difficulties getting paid, let’s fix it first before providing any additional services such as insurance or financing. With my co-founder Barnaby, we’ve always been very aligned on our product and user-centric approach: the process is broken, let’s optimize it with the best software.
That’s how we built what Upflow has become today: a best-in-class software solution allowing business teams to understand their finances, track unpaid invoices collaboratively and provide a better experience to their customers. With hundreds of companies now using our technology every day and drastic improvements with their cash collection, we know that we can help them make a significant difference.
I’ll always remember talking with Emmaline, Head of Operations at Veraset, explaining that her team managed to reduce overdue payments by 50% in the midst of the Covid crisis with Upflow. Many users reported the same.
But this is not enough.
If we take a step back on the state of payments in the world, every single payment space has been revolutionized in the last decade. Retail with Square, consumer with Venmo, online with Stripe, etc. Each of them but the B2B space.
Nothing has changed in the B2B space for the last decades. At Upflow, we’re shocked to see how unnoticed this is. It’s 2021, and companies still put a piece of paper in an envelope and then in the mailbox to pay a vendor (yes, it’s called a “check”). When these businesses are “modern” enough to get rid of checks, instead, they send unstructured documents (pdf) called “invoices” to their customers every single month. The finance team of the customer then needs to enter the information manually in their system and process the payment via ACH or wire transfer, often, manually. Seriously, how business can be paid on time with this?
We can try to optimize the process with software, but we see it differently. The process needs to change. Ten years from now, B2B payments will have been revolutionized. With or without us. At Upflow, we want to foster and accelerate this change.
Our mission, revolutionizing how B2B businesses get paid.
It’s not that bad. Things are moving fast in the space.
- Businesses are now equipped with the right financial OS to run their activities, whether it’s incumbents such as Quickbooks, Xero, NetSuite or new entrants such as Pennylane in Europe. Ecosystems are opening up to provide businesses the best services, interconnected.
- Payment platforms are enabling a simpler way to move money from one account to another. The last decade saw the emergence of Stripe, GoCardless, which made it 10x easier compared to legacy bank systems. And now, open banking regulations are further accelerating the change, with strong tech players enabling it such as Plaid.
- Financial services are becoming more and more accessible, with players such as Hokodo and Fundbox.
We believe that one piece is still missing. The layer connecting all of them. That’s what we’re building at Upflow.
We’re building the modern hub to get paid, managing all communications, payments, and finances in one place. We have an ambitious roadmap to make sure that our users can access the best service when they need it, with no integration headache. It’s complex, but we know that’s the only way to change a world riddled with frictions and inefficiencies.
How will we use the new round of funding?
At Upflow, we’ve always seen fundraising as a mean, not an end. We were breakeven before raising additional capital and decided to do so because we know it will be well deployed: we need the best team to build and distribute a revolutionary product.
We are a product-led organization, and as YC puts it, “Growth is the result of a great product, not a precursor”. As such, we will continue to heavily invest in our product development to further integrate communications, payments, and financial services. The product team will continue to ship new features at high cadence. On the business side, we will strengthen our US presence with a new office in New York. All in all, we’ll triple the size of our team in the next 12 months — adding new team members across all functions in Europe and the United States as a fully distributed team. Check our career page if you’d like to join our team of hustlers.
Join us on our mission
We’re taking on a massive, but great challenge for the economy. Global B2B business drives a massive $120 trillion annually, it will be revolutionized in the next couple of years, and no one has even scratched the surface of it.
As a user, a partner, or a new team member, please drop us a line if you’re interested in taking part in our journey! Thanks for your support so far, we’re thrilled to work hard to solve great challenges.
Barnaby and Alex, cofounders at Upflow.