Slope, a business-to-business payments platform for enterprise companies, closed on a venture round of $30 million to expand its business. The company intends on using the new funds on product development as it continues to take on bigger clients.
Since launching in 2021, co-founders Lawrence Lin Murata and Alice Deng have sought to digitize the $125 trillion B2B payments market. The core of Slope’s technology is order-to-cash workflow automation utilizing artificial intelligence-driven tools for checkout, customer and vendor risk assessment, payment reconciliation and cash management.
The new investment follows Slope’s recent product launch of SlopeGPT, which Murata called the first payments risk model powered by GPT.
“Our involvement in AI predates all the AI hype cycle,” Murata said. “Since before our seed, AI was a big differentiator for us. As we collect more data, we are able to leverage larger and larger models, so we swapped GPT, which is building on top of GPT embeddings for payments risk, which is an essential application for succeeding between payments.”
We covered both of Slope’s rounds since the beginning, including an $8 million seed round in 2021 and $24 million in Series A funding in 2022. Union Square Ventures, which co-led the Series A, led the new round, which included major participation from OpenAI’s Sam Altman.
“Slope’s quest to reshape the B2B payments experience and bring the sector into the digital age is audacious — and that’s why I chose to back them,” Altman said in a written statement.
In fact, inclusion in the investment was highly sought after, according to CEO Murata. Not only did the company get multiple offers from investors and was multiple times oversubscribed, it was also preempted. That last part is more rare these days given the economic environment and drying up of venture capital investments.
Others joining the round include Y Combinator, monashees, Jack Altman from Lattice, Alex Bouaziz from Deel, Mathilde Collin from Front, Michael Tannenbaum from Brex and Rujul Zaparde from Zip. In total, Slope has raised $187 million in equity and debt.
In those early years, the company worked with startups. Today the customer pipeline has evolved into mainly enterprise, including Fiserv. As a result, both volume and company revenue have increased 17x since last year, Deng told TechCrunch.
“For people to be able to adjust to the digital B2B payments world, we really need the transition to be a smooth experience,” Murata said. “We don’t see AI as being something that’s very front-and-center in that user experience. Instead, we actually see it as an invisible experience that’s helping automate and streamline the processes, even if they’re not aware of what is the technology happening behind it.”