French startup Upflow, a company that wants to streamline the invoicing process for companies, help them stay organized and ensure they get paid on time, has raised $2.7 million, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The funding round included Kima Ventures, eFounders and a few business angels.
Many companies have relied on Excel spreadsheets to keep track of invoicing information, and Upflow has created a proprietary system to improve on that.
Upflow’s process involves a payment brick that works between a company’s bank account and its customers. When a company sends an invoice, the Upflow interface will let someone send an email to, for example, the whole sales team, to make sure everyone knows what’s happening.
When a customer sends money, Upflow will immediately mark the invoice as paid, and it will transfer money back to a company’s bank account daily. The more Upflow is used, the more insight a company will get into its invoicing process, like how much money is owed overall, and how recurring customers behave.
Invoicing, although not a new concept, can cost precious time and money when payments are late. Clients that pay late or not at all make owners chase payments and bring in attorneys as well as collection agencies. And small business owners can have an even greater challenge collecting funds from consumers and businesses if the economy falters or dips into a recession.
Small business owners have been taking proactive steps to guard against late payments. To protect themselves and their cash flows, many owners ask for funds upfront. They also might only accept customers that present a minimum amount of risk. But it might take the experience of having a customer not pay to cause business owners to take proactive measures.
The United Kingdom is making stronger late payment rules. With the Prompt Payment Code, organizations that wish to do business with government departments need to have 95 percent of all supply chain invoices paid within 60 days.