Israeli startup Melio is seeking to revolutionize how small businesses manage their supplier payments by setting up a payments app that allows businesses to transfer payments faster and more easily, while providing them with data insights about their cash flow.
The startup last week said it has raised $144 million in investments since its founding in 2019, to reach more small businesses across the US as they move to digital solutions to help manage the economic effects of COVID-19.
Investors who have led the fundraising rounds to date include Accel, Aleph, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue Management, and General Catalyst, with participation from LocalGlobe, Corner Ventures and American Express Ventures, Melio said in a statement.
While consumers have started getting used to payment apps to transfer money between friends or to service suppliers, small businesses globally typically use a variety of archaic tools to manage supplier payments. Almost half of B2B payments are carried out with paper checks, Melio said in a statement.
“At a time when small businesses need the most flexibility, they have the least,” said Matan Bar, Melio co-founder and CEO, who previously led Consumer P2P Payments at PayPal. “Our mission is to keep small businesses in business. We do this by allowing small businesses to manage payments remotely, paying when and how they want, giving them more control and helping businesses manage cash flow. Business payments shouldn’t be more complicated than paying a friend with your phone.”
Melio’s fundraising will enables the startup to speed up growth and reach a greater number of customers, the statement said. Since its launch last year in May, Melio has seen a surge to multi-billion dollar payment volumes.
“Melio sits at the convergence of two powerful trends; the digitisation of both payments and small businesses, both of which have been accelerated by COVID-19. Melio designed a product that is unique in its simplicity and ease of use,” said Philippe Botteri, partner at Accel and Melio board member.
Freight forwarding company shifl, for example, now processes payments using the Melio app, and saves $7,500 a month in fees and courier charges, the statement said.
“Melio has made it super easy for shifl to facilitate payments with every shipment that we manage,” said shifl founder and CEO Shabsie Levy. “We are paying many different fees on behalf of our customers for each shipment.” Using Melio’s tech the firm has expedited payment time and has eliminated costly inefficiencies, he said.
The Tel Aviv-based startup was founded by CEO Matan Bar, CTO Ilan Atias and COO Ziv Paz.