Visa Acceptance Solutions 2024 Global Digital Shopping Index Mexico Edition May 2024 Banner

B2B Selling Platforms Come of Age With Embedded Payments 

The business-to-business (B2B) marketplace has, through the past few years, been getting a digital makeover.

And the emergence of platform models, with payments and financing embedded into the platforms themselves — changing the dynamics between buyers and suppliers — has been attracting investor interest and dollars.

Seed and Early-Stage Funding 

As reported in recent weeks, Propense.ai said that it has raised $3 million in its first round of seed funding. The company leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline the sales experience for accounting and legal professionals by providing them with what it terms “highly probable cross-selling recommendations for existing customers” in order to maximize revenue opportunities. Part of the funding, the company said, will be allocated towards research in the legal market, with plans to launch Propense.ai to the public next year.

Elsewhere, as detailed here, Go Autonomous said earlier this year that it had raised $10.3 million in Series A funding. The company’s platform also uses AI to modernize B2B efforts, is operational in Europe, and is targeting an eventual U.S. launch. The company said its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution “identifies the intent of emails arriving in an inbox, extracts and structures the necessary information, and connects it into enterprise systems in real time, enabling end-to-end automation of quotes and orders.”

Embedding Payments 

It’s no surprise that the financial interactions — given the fact that about 40% of B2B payments have been done by paper checks — are getting a technological makeover.

In one example, as reported in January, Cybrid, a provider of embedded finance application programming interface (API) solutions, has expanded its Fintech API platform to include B2B payments. The platform boasts high transaction limits designed to handle large-sum payments, thereby simplifying the complexities often associated with high-value transactions.

ChemDirect, which offers an online platform focused on the chemical industry, has embedded an instant credit decisioning function.

Dave Haase, president at ChemDirect, tells PYMNTS for the series “B2B Payments: Outlook 2024,” “Being able to qualify folks in real time when they sign up for an account has been a big innovation.” Haase said the typical line of credit being underwritten for commercial customers is in the ballpark of $10,000 to $20,000. The credit flows also incorporate bank or credit card validation to ensure faster payments and uses AI to offer data rich, online catalogs.

Separately, as reported here, the steel industry also has seen a platformization, bringing buyers and sellers together.

Shep Hickey, CEO of online platform Bryzos, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, “There are certain sectors that have a decent amount of stock available and the pricing may not be all that volatile. Then there are other sectors that are in the midst of a supply shock, and it’s hard to find what you need.”

The online marketplace facilitates anonymous transactions to both parties until the deals are done and closed (through Bryzos’ checkout and documentation processes). The company’s platform also has a BNPL offering.