London-based fintech startup Kolleno raises $5.3M seed to help businesses solve their cash flow struggles
Before the pandemic began two years ago, small businesses faced enormous cash flow problems, which happen due to a lack of enough liquid cash to cover their liabilities. For anyone who has operated a small business, it’s a struggle to pay debts and other expenses when cash outflows exceed cash inflows.
Now, as economies recover around the world, the problem is exacerbated as most businesses seek money to meet growing demands for their products and services. That’s why London-based fintech startup Kolleno which specializes in Accounts Receivable (AR) management for SMEs is on a mission to help businesses solve their cash flow struggles and reduce manual work and processes by 100%. Since its inception, Kolleno has processed over 170,000 invoices across the USA, Canada, South Africa, the UK, and Europe.
Today, Kolleno announced it has raised $5.3 million (£4 million) in a seed funding round to scale its operations and accelerate growth. The round was led by Eurazeo and Stride.VC, with participation from Euler Hermes, HubSpot, and several angel investors including Michael Pennington, Mark Ransford, and Will Neale.
Founded in 2020 by Dimitri Raziev, CEO (ex-Goldman Sachs, Fasanara Capital) and Ron Danenberg, CTO (ex-Expedia Group, Vatglobal), Kolleno simplify B2B credit control and collections for SMEs by automating the management of receivables on one single platform. The idea to form Kolleno was born from their experience observing the impact that manual processes and poor cash flow management were having on SMEs. In less than 18 months of operation, the start-up has already acquired customers across several markets in Europe, the UK, the US, Canada, and South Africa.
The platform does cash reconciliation, prioritizes the workflow, and provides tailored collection strategies by advising the most effective communication channels using AI and machine-learning technology. The customers are approached via omnichannel, in-app communication methods (including email, SMS, and call.)
Moreover, the platform has a Payment Portal, which is accessible straight from the email or text received by the customer. The user-friendly dashboard provides data insights and credit analysis helping to mitigate risks and reduce the number of bad debts.
“Previously, businesses had to hire credit control specialists or give extra tasks to existing members of their team to manually monitor the payment dynamics of customers. An employee had to identify late payers, then prioritize, contact, and follow up with individual clients to ensure late payments were received. This was not only time-consuming but also stressful for business owners and often prone to errors,” remarks Kolleno CEO and co-founder Dimitri Raziev. “Kolleno has been designed to alleviate these challenges by automating manual legacy processes to eliminate errors, ensure that businesses get paid faster, and improve cash flows for our clients, some of whom have reported greater than 90% recovery using our platform.”
In addition to automating and streamlining processes, Kolleno’s software offers added convenience by partnering and offering an Open API integration with leading ERP and software solutions, including Xero, QuickBooks, and Clio to better meet the needs of its clients. The software is also equipped with machine-learning technology capable of automating and optimizing the timing, method, and delivery of client communications, and offers a variety of efficiency-improving features, such as an actions board and payments portal to simplify follow-up and receipt of payments.
“The technology has reached a level where it is able to remove repetitive tasks from employees and perform them faster and more accurately, freeing up time for staff to focus on higher value-added activities and speeding up the sales-to-cash timeframe. We are excited to build something that saves time and money for businesses” says Ron Danenberg, CTO and co-founder of Kolleno.
“The B2B payments market is far bigger than the B2C. However, the level of digitalization in the B2B sector is lagging behind. That is why we are excited to invest in Kolleno – I firmly believe that the biggest opportunities in the B2B payments sector are yet to come”, says Chloé Giard, investment director at Eurazeo, the lead investor in the round.
“Kolleno has demonstrated a relentless focus on helping business owners manage their cash and receivables simply and swiftly using software, in stark contrast to the current status quo: working with clunky and expensive agencies who are misaligned with their clients”, explains Pietro Invernizzi on the decision of Stride.VC to back Kolleno.
As the company continues to build towards the future, initial seed funding will be used to scale up Kolleno’s capabilities and offerings. To assist with these efforts, the company has recruited Djibrane Larrabure (ex-Deloitte consulting) as Chief of Staff and onboarded a team of nearly ten professionals to expand its product, marketing, sales, and partnership offerings across regions.
“This achievement is the result of the team’s tireless efforts to build a leading platform to help businesses thrive. As a team, we look forward to continuing to support the long-term success of our clients and are grateful for the faith that our investors have put in us to deliver on this promise. Stay tuned – because we are excited for what is to come!” the company’s founders said.