These Freshworks alumni are changing the way B2B payments work with fintech startup Growfin

These Freshworks alumni are changing the way B2B payments work with fintech startup Growfin


Aravind Gopalan and Raja Jayaraman are changing the way B2B payments work with fintech their startup.

Aravind Gopalan’s startup Frilp, a social recommendation engine for finding reliable businesses through friend recommendations, was bought by SaaS giant Freshworks in 2012.

He and his colleague Raja Jayaraman discovered that B2B firms were employing B2C payment methods when integrating into the organisation.

“Each participant had its system for tracking bills, checking customer Accounts Receivables (AR) balances, and collecting what was owed to them. There was no one location where all corporate stakeholders could see which customers owed how much and when invoices were due. “There wasn’t a single point of visibility,” Aravind explains.

As a result, the two began work on Growfin, a SaaS-based financial platform that integrates customers, sales, finance, and customer success teams on a single platform. In 2021, the platform was introduced. Aravind demonstrates that business transactions are complicated procedures, no matter how big or small. Finance isn’t the only factor to consider; sales and customer satisfaction must also be taken into account.

Aravind claims existing systems or companies were not handling this problem “the correct manner” after talking to a focus group of over 300+ finance professionals in 2021 to identify their pain points in collecting AR during, during, and after the pandemic.
“We discovered that existing old systems were causing these competent professionals problems and that they were wasting a lot of time and resources managing receivables inefficiently.” “Their present ERP/payment systems or legacy suppliers were not assisting them in resolving their issues because these platforms were just instruments to record and process invoice production, deliver invoices, and provide payment alternatives,” he claims.

Growfin is an automation technology that automates accounts receivables for B2B businesses throughout the world, allowing finance, sales, and customer success teams to collect cash faster and increase cash inflows. Growfin’s collaboration-first approach to accounts receivables, which was launched in 2021, is a first in the industry and promises to bring people, processes, and data together in one place for all stakeholders. Leading unicorns use Growfin all over the world to cooperate and collect money.

Despite the advancement of modern sales CRM systems and fintech payment solutions, nothing has been done to manage the business of collecting B2B payments.

Growfin, based in Chennai, aims to solve this problem by bringing transparency to the payments experience through a one-stop solution.

“Each requires a different system and method, which is where Growfin comes in. The platform brings them together in a collaborative place where businesses and customers may handle invoice payments. According to Aravind, it promotes better openness and eliminates inefficiencies in B2B payments.

Growfin provides modern accounts receivable automation software that aids businesses in accelerating cash collections and improving cash flow predictability by providing real-time visibility into receivables, enhancing collection efficiency and collaboration, and automating routine operations. The founders intended to start by investigating the startup industry, so they enlisted the help of their networks to “assemble a core team of like-minded individuals.”



Growfin Commits To Resolving Payment Issues For Growing Businesses


It’s an age-old challenge that every company faces: how do they get paid? And it’s an issue that only gets worse as the company grows: the time and effort required to track invoices, chase payments, and resolve disputes climbs exponentially as the number of customers grows. Currently, there is a startup in the United States. Growfin believes it can help, claiming that its new payments platform would revolutionise accounts receivable.

“Traditional accounting solutions are created for the finance department’s back office,” explains Aravind Gopalan, Growfin’s co-founder and CEO. “They don’t have a mechanism for involving other stakeholders.”

The fact that many firms manage payments includes several stakeholders, according to Gopalan, is a source of anguish. For example, invoices may be generated and managed by a finance team, but the customer’s interaction is more likely to be with a sales team member or an account manager. According to Gopalan, “all of them end up capturing payment information in their formats and methods.” “This results in information vacuums and a plethora of workflow levels, resulting in a slew of payment collection inefficiencies.”

It’s a diagnosis that many growing firms will recognise. Accountants may have a spreadsheet monitoring an invoice. Still, other pertinent customer information may be stored in a CRM system or simply an email exchange between the client and their company contact. There are numerous silos where critical data can be discovered, and no one has complete visibility into them all.

Growfin’s platform sets out to the right that wrong. The concept is that everyone involved in an invoice or payment, including the client, should be able to interact in a single location where they can all access the same information and, as a result, solve problems faster. “This collaboration-first strategy will improve efficiencies, increased transparency, and the development of trusted connections between customers and enterprises,” Gopalan claims.

There will be additional benefits as well. Importantly, firm executives – in finance and elsewhere – will better understand payments and flows. Growfin’s platform includes artificial intelligence technologies that predict how and when cash will flow into the business based on historical customer payment behaviour estimates. As a result, the company should be able to make better judgments and plan more intelligently.

Finance teams can use the platform’s CRM features to ensure that accounts are running well and that disputes are resolved as soon and painlessly as feasible. The software generates a “health score” for each customer, which can assist the company in identifying potential payment delays and focusing on constructive communication.

It’s a philosophy that resonates with Growfin’s customers, especially in the tech-enabled sector, where rapid development is straining payment networks. Enterprise companies like Intercom, Whatfix, Darwinbox, and several startups were among the early clients who helped Growfin develop the platform over the last year and a half.

The company plans to start selling the platform more extensively now that it has identified a significant potential market. In the United States alone, the Growfin-targeted business-to-business payments segment accounted for $25 trillion in money flows last year, compared to only $4 trillion in the business-to-consumer market.

With a $1.4 million seed round under his belt, Gopalan sees room for growth and development in a variety of avenues. He argues, “We’re only scratching the surface of the payments problem.” “At the end of the day, our job is to assist the CEO in converting revenues to cash as rapidly as possible.”

One option to solve this demand is to include a payment mechanism into the platform. Another option is to leverage the data that Growfin is already gathering to support the establishment of financial services like factoring and invoice financing.

Meanwhile, Gopalan is focused on giving clients the payment transparency and efficiency that he believes they currently lack. “In a distant, digital-first world, we feel that this new style of collaboration-first approach is the necessity of the hour for B2B firms to erase payment issues,” he says.



Growfin is aiming for a 125 trillion dollar global payments market


Growfin has introduced its platform to revolutionise how B2B finance departments track and collect payments from consumers.

Growfin claims that getting paid and being paid on time have long been critical difficulties for firms of all kinds. Freshworks alums and two-time entrepreneurs founded it.

It says that managing bills and collecting payments is typically complicated, and that complexity increases as a company grows.

“Collecting payments in B2B organisations involves finance and other stakeholders such as sales and customer success, all of whom end up recording payment information in their own formats and systems,” explains Aravind Gopalan, co-founder and CEO of Growfin.

“This leads to a lot of inefficiencies in collecting money since it creates information vacuums and multiple workflow layers.”

According to the company, many of these areas are now controlled through emails, spreadsheets, ERPs, payment gateways, Slack conversations, and meetings due to the nature of the sector.

As a result, stakeholders cannot view invoice payment statuses and AR balances in real-time.

“Instead of relying on disparate systems that don’t communicate with one another, we’ve built an easy-to-use no-code platform that invites everyone involved in an invoice payment, including the customer, to collaborate in one place where everyone sees the same information and can help solve payment issues faster.”

“This collaboration-first strategy will provide improved efficiencies, greater transparency, and develop trusted relationships between customers and enterprises, allowing B2B payments to be collected faster,” Gopalan adds.

Growfin raised US$1.4 million from 3one4 Capital and angel investors to establish an invoice-to-cash platform that, according to the company, has helped companies like Intercom and startups like Whatfix and Mindtickle turn more than US$300 million in booked revenues into cash.

Growfin claims their AI-powered platform helps organisations increase collection efficiency and forecast more accurately by providing real-time cash flow visibility and prediction.

Customers, sales, finance, and customer success teams are all connected in one place with a real-time view of payment progress thanks to the SaaS Fintech platform.
According to Gopalan, existing systems or providers are not tackling this challenge effectively after speaking with a focus group of over 300 finance professionals in 2021 to identify their pain points in collecting AR during, during, and after the pandemic.

“We discovered that existing old systems were causing these competent professionals problems and that they were wasting a lot of time and resources managing receivables inefficiently.”

“Their present ERP, payment systems, or legacy vendors were not assisting them in solving their problems,” Gopalan explains, “since these platforms were just tools to record and process invoice production, deliver invoices, and provide payment alternatives.”

Growfin claims that, despite the rise of modern CRM systems for sales and innovation in fintech payment solutions, the business of collecting B2B payments is still unaddressed.
According to the business, B2B payments account for $25 trillion in money movements in the United States, compared to $4 trillion in B2C transactions.

Due to a lack of innovation, B2B businesses are compelled to employ B2C payment solutions to tackle their specific difficulties, which are not designed for bill management.

Growfin claims that its sole focus is on resolving this issue by bringing transparency to the payments process with a single, straightforward solution.

According to 3one4 Capital partner Anurag, “Growfin’s AI-powered system intends to bring archaic accounts receivables systems into the twenty-first century by offering access to real-time cash flow insight and predictability for the CFO office.”

“Businesses should be able to follow payment statuses of their invoices in real-time to improve cash flow efficiency and forecasting. Aravind and Raja are in a great position to solve these issues, and we’re delighted to support them on their journey.”

Growfin also claims that its Health Score can help firms anticipate payment delays ahead of time and facilitate open discussion to guarantee payments arrive on schedule.

“We believe that this new collaboration-first approach is the most effective solution for B2B businesses to eliminate payment issues in a distant, digital-first environment,” Gopalan adds.



Waves of change – how FinTech can drive the future of social impact finance


The technology and innovation known as financial technology aspire to compete with established financial methods in the supply of financial services. It’s a relatively new industry that uses technology to improve financial transactions. Mobile banking, investing, borrowing services, and cryptocurrency are just a few instances of technological advancements that have made financial services more accessible to the general public.

Financial technology firms include both startups and established financial institutions and technology firms attempting to replace or enhance the use of existing financial services. Insurtech or insuretech firms are a subgroup of fintech companies that specialise in the insurance market.

Social impact finance is all about innovation and bringing about meaningful change for communities. Such impact investments have never been afraid to embrace the latest technological advancement or challenge the existing quo. In this line, FinTech efforts like blockchain have the potential to demonstrate that they may be a catalyst for data democratisation and the opening of new realms of possibilities to consumers and stakeholders all around the world.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study project, there is compelling evidence that blockchain can revolutionise corporations and governments and have a significant impact on society as a whole.

Investing that is socially responsible and ethical is not a new concept. After all, one of the most well-known social investment programmes, Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, was established in 1976. The utilisation of a creative, digital, and frequently app-based skill set to address these social and economic concerns is what supports the FinTech trend.

FinTech’s digital adoption has been remarkable. According to the EY FinTech Adoption Survey 2019, 75 per cent of the world’s population uses FinTech products. This figure is as high as 87 per cent in China and India’s worldwide markets.


Financial inclusion

Access to banking is one area where FinTech already has a significant influence, particularly in countries like India and other emerging economies where banking facilities are still limited, but mobile technology adoption is high. Blockchain, which is a network of data maintained by its users, has the potential to transform operational processes and record keeping. In a nutshell, it serves as a shared record or ledger of digital occurrences (or transactions).

The blockchain algorithm has a lot to offer the more than two billion adults globally who don’t have a bank account. BitPesa (part of the AZA Group), for example, specialises in turning Bitcoins into Kenyan or Tanzanian shillings and transferring that local cash to a mobile money number. BitPesa avoids the bog of the convoluted international money transfer system that has made a Bitcoin-based remittance system so difficult by relying on a pre-existing mobile money wallet system widely utilised by many Kenyans and Tanzanians.


Tracking the need


Another easy-to-imagine application for blockchain is as a platform for providing accessible and even real-time data on social or environmental needs and data on the impact of goods like development impact bonds. So, why is blockchain being used to capture such information? The advantages are obvious: the blockchain community’s distributed structure allows for the reconciliation of data entered by numerous parties. Because data is timestamped when shared infrastructure is used, it is substantially less vulnerable to manipulation and fraud.

Everex, protected using Ethereum technology, is another firm embracing blockchain for social effect. The mission of Everex is to provide cross-border blockchain microfinance. The company’s solutions enable the storage and transmission of funds on the Ethereum network.

All transactions may be tracked, securely recorded, and readily and instantaneously verified as a result of this.


Predicting the impact


The use of blockchain also brings up an exciting prospect, one that goes beyond just measuring the need for social impact money. What if blockchain technology could be used to forecast trends and the effects of new initiatives? Predictive markets currently exist (although without the use of blockchain), so this may be possible in the near future. People would be able to choose an outcome or collection of outcomes using an app or other platform and then invest depending on the likelihood that a specific technique will accomplish the desired outcome.

Those who make correct forecasts will be rewarded financially. This model could predict the occurrence of specific social needs throughout time and how best to address them through social impact activities.


The future is ripe for innovation and progress


FinTech in general, and blockchain in particular, appear to have limitless potential to transform how we do business, particularly in the field of social impact investing. This might free markets, allowing millions of people in previously underserved places to get better and more consistent access to banking. Products and strategies can be more easily simplified and developed by tracking and recording social demand and the impact of social investments, all while operating in a less vulnerable environment to fraud.

In short, when combined with a positive social impact, blockchain appears to be the ideal partner for re-energising impact financial markets and propelling the next generation of such initiatives.

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