67. Previse

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Founders: Paul Christensen, David Brown, Dr. Philipp Schoenbucher, Giulio Rossi, and Andre de Cavaignac

With experience across the financial sector – in everything from technology and risk-management, to payments and compliance – the four founders of Previse had a collective desire to “end the scourge of slow payments”.

Paul Christensen, David Brown, Dr. Philipp Schoenbucher, Giulio Rossi, and Andre de Cavaignac wanted a sustainable way to unlock the billions of dollars owed to small businesses from the supply chain to help the economy at large.

Founded in 2016, Previse uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create and share value from invoice data so multinational buyers can ensure even their smallest suppliers are paid instantly – unlike current trade finance programmes (which only focus on the largest suppliers and only help after the invoice has been approved).

Even the suppliers that can get credit are charged extortionate interest rates, which increases prices for buyers.

Previse claims there is a $2.4 trillion global market of small suppliers looking for credit to cover “short-term liquidity challenges”. Bringing the payment date forward can instantly unlock cash value from invoices benefitting everyone in the chain.

Instead of £95 in today’s money after waiting £100 for the settlement of a £100 invoice, they can be paid £98 instantly. That £2 discount is then split between Previse, the finance provider, and the buyer (for giving access to their data).

Previse was recently announced as the first company in Scotland to partner with Auticon, a UK social enterprise that exclusively hires autistic people and contracts them to businesses as consultants. It will now work with a number of consultants on security and test automation projects.

Backed by £2m in seed funding, the start-up will now focus on on-boarding more customers to invest in and grow the business so that it can continue to help more of the 60% of small businesses around the world that are paid late by corporates. This forces them to write off billions in unpaid bills and to risk closure.

In the UK alone, Previse says this could unlock £67bn that could then be invested in boosting productivity and growing the economy at large. But this problem isn’t limited to our shores, and the start-up thinks it could have a “world-first, unique solution to this huge, global issue”.

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