Palo Alto-based Startup Coris Receives $3.7M Seed Funding to Revolutionize SMB Risk Management

Palo Alto, Calif.-based fintech startup Coris has recently secured $3.7 million in seed funding to scale up its AI-powered risk management platform. The company is on a mission to bring automation and intelligence to the outdated processes still prevalent in many financial services firms when it comes to evaluating risk for small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers.

The seed round was co-led by Lux Capital, a leading investor in enterprise AI, and Exponent Capital, a fintech specialist. Other participants included renowned accelerator Y Combinator, Blank Ventures, and several veteran fintech founders.

Revolutionizing SMB Risk Assessment

Coris leverages large language models (LLMs) to analyze unstructured data and extract insights for tasks such as automated underwriting. The company’s latest offering, CorShield, tackles impersonation fraud during SMB onboarding by cross-checking applicant data with various online sources.

“There’s a clear need for integrated risk infrastructure software with embedded AI for SMBs,” said Coris CEO Vinodh Poyyapakkam in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat. “Companies want to manage risk natively within their own platforms.”

The injection of capital will expedite the deployment of Coris’s groundbreaking solutions, including CorShield, a unique SMB fraud model, and a comprehensive business verification product. These tools are set to revolutionize the traditional, labor-intensive processes associated with SMB risk assessment.

The SMB sector comprises over 400 million companies worldwide, but risk analysis faces challenges due to fragmented and unstructured data. Coris addresses this issue by leveraging large language models to synthesize data, providing a granular understanding of potential risks without the delays and inaccuracies of manual processing.

A Suite of Tools for Streamlined Risk Management

Coris’s AI-driven platform goes beyond time-saving measures. It represents a strategic reimagining of risk management with a suite of tools that streamline onboarding and continuous monitoring. For instance, CorShield helps mitigate fraud by cross-referencing SMB data with multiple sources to validate identities, reducing the risk of impersonation.

In addition to fraud prevention, Coris’s MerchantProfiler offers real-time business verifications and industry classification across 46 countries. Powered by GPT-4, this feature provides up-to-date data, which is crucial for software companies and fintechs seeking global reach. Accurate classification is central to compliance and risk management.

Furthermore, Fuzio, Coris’s centralized risk management platform, empowers teams to automate routine risk assessments, configure custom rules, and take action based on comprehensive, consolidated data sources.

The results speak for themselves: Coris has streamlined verification for over 150,000 SMBs and has data on more than 330 million businesses worldwide. Clients like Mindbody have witnessed a fivefold increase in SMB onboarding speed and a 50% reduction in operational costs, with an impressive 80% decrease in manual processes.

The Growing Market Demand

The total addressable market is significant, with approximately 30 million SMBs in the U.S. alone. The post-COVID startup boom and the emergence of embedded finance have generated a greater demand for automated, low-touch underwriting. However, incumbents have been slow to adopt emerging technologies like natural language processing.

“There is so much unstructured data online, but millions of data points are not being standardized, cleaned, and leveraged appropriately,” noted Grace Isford, partner at Lux Capital, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Coris has a strong technical team that can wrangle this data at scale.”

With a team consisting of experienced risk and fraud experts from PayPal, eBay, and other fintech pioneers, Coris is well-positioned to build on its early momentum. The founders envision an integrated risk infrastructure software platform enriched by AI. As the company scales, the ever-growing SMB dataset will compound the advantages of its machine learning algorithms in tackling this multi-billion-dollar market.

The future looks exceptionally bright for this emerging fintech that leverages AI and alternative data to minimize SMB risk.

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