Tipalti raises $150 million to automate payment workflows with AI

Payment automation solutions provider Tipalti today raised $150 million at an over $2 billion valuation. The company says it will devote the funds to increasing the size of its developer, product management, customer operations, sales, and business development teams.

Following a year of double-digit growth in 2017, global payments returned to an established pattern of steady yet strong performance in 2019, according to a McKinsey & Company report. Global revenues reached $1.9 trillion in 2018, reflecting 6% growth. But the pandemic might shape fortunes into the remainder of 2020 and beyond, with worldwide payments activity anticipated to drop by as much as 8% to 10% of total revenues ($165 billion to $210 billion) by the year’s end.

Tipalti wants to help customers weather the downswing by automating common payment tasks. The company’s end-to-end platform provides infrastructure with international coverage and payment choices, as well as high partner visibility. Payment methods, entities, currencies, subsidiaries, and geographies are combined and reconciled in real time for visibility. And detailed transaction and reconciliation reports are integrated with existing systems, giving finance teams a consolidated view of payable accounts.

Tipalti employs AI and machine learning to reduce risks and errors while uncovering workflows that could be streamlined. Algorithms expose issues and processes in need of attention across payable cycles while ensuring humans remain in control. For instance, Tipalti’s AI can identify things like bill and invoice entries, form validations, and data entry. It also works in the background to learn approval routing and how to record bill fields for line-level charges.

Tipalti

Above: Tipalti’s online dashboard.

Image Credit: Tipalti

This intelligence feeds into Tipalti’s fraud detection component, aptly called Detect. Detect tracks a range of data points — including contact details, account numbers, emails, and payments — to proactively uncover patterns that identify potential fraudsters within a payment network. The platform draws on current and historical information to perform risk checks that determine whether a payee is related to other blocked or suspended payees or multiple accounts have the same payment method details. Upon finding a risk match on a payee or payment, Detect automatically opens a case and notifies employees with the appropriate permissions. It also creates an audit trail and notes of case records, in addition to detailed payee reports.

Elsewhere within Tipalti, granular access roles and permissions limit what users can see and do, and roles can be customized with over 20 permission options. Audit trails capture activity for users and suppliers, and Tipalti offers enhanced security measures, like user roles restricting API access to specific IP addresses and active monitoring for potentially suspicious activity.

Tipalti says its customers include Roblox, Roku, Twitch, Twitter, Uber, Vimeo, GitLab, Docker, Business Insider, and over 1,000 others. And it claims to have surpassed $12 billion in annual transaction volume and ended Q2 2020 at an over 80% growth rate relative to where it finished in Q2 2019. Tipalti recently opened its third office in Vancouver, Canada and now has over 350 employees worldwide.

San Mateo, California-based Tipalti has around $280 million to date. Durable Capital Partners led the series E round that closed this week, with participation from Greenoaks Capital and 01 Advisors.

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