Addressing the Challenges of B2B Payments with AI

Tracking and ensuring the integrity of payments is a complex task for businesses, especially in the B2B space. Unlike the B2C sector, B2B companies face additional difficulties in ensuring timely payments and avoiding situations where they are left empty-handed. Slope, a San Francisco-based AI startup, aims to tackle these challenges by developing a B2B payments tracking and receiving platform.

The Power of AI in B2B Payments

Slope utilizes a combination of “rules-based” technology and OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 Turbo to create a comprehensive payments solution. Additionally, the company is developing its own proprietary large language models (LLMs) to enhance its platform. The recent announcement of a $30 million equity round, led by Union Square Ventures and with participation from OpenAI’s CEO, demonstrates the industry’s confidence in Slope’s potential.

“We run very efficiently,” said Lawrence Lin Murata, Slope’s CEO and co-founder.

The funding will be utilized to expand the team and further develop Slope’s technology. This includes the integration of an online payments and invoicing tool, allowing customers to accept various payment methods such as credit cards, automated clearing house (ACH), and international payments. Alice Deng, co-founder and chief product officer of Slope, emphasized that the platform covers every step of the payment process, from customer onboarding to reconciling.

Enhancing Visibility and Mitigating Risks

Slope’s platform offers financing options for customers who cannot pay upfront, providing them with credit through Slope’s payments system. The company also introduces a new level of visibility with features like Slope Timeline, which provides real-time updates on payment and product shipping statuses:

“Both the buyer and the seller understand exactly what stage they are in to the millisecond,” said Deng.

An essential aspect of Slope’s approach is the acquisition of clean data from enterprise customers. This clean data forms the foundation of Slope’s AI capabilities:

“The foundation of that is clean data, it powers everything in the system,” said Deng. “We’re an AI company, but we’re actually a clean data company.”

To gather clean data, Slope collaborates with enterprise customers to gather comprehensive information about orders, processing, and shipping. SlopeGPT, a tool powered by OpenAI’s GPT, plays a significant role in analyzing data to determine creditworthiness and identify potential fraud risks. By identifying anomalies and irregularities, Slope can prevent fraudulent activities and minimize risks for both its customers and their buyers:

“If there’s anomalous activities, or somebody’s pretending to be a different business, if they’ve stolen information from another business… if they’re intentionally trying to show strong cash flow, and then do sudden transfers out, we can detect a lot of these anomalies to prevent payments,” shared Lin Murata.

Slope’s extensive utilization of AI, combined with its focus on clean data, positions it as a strong contender in the B2B payments market. With its latest funding round, the company is poised to continue its growth and enhance its platform’s capabilities.

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