While consumer payments options have exploded in the past few years, comparatively fewer strides were made in the B2B industry. To reinvent business payments, the London and Libson based startup Nook offers its platform, which aims to simplify SME payments and invoicing. The company has now raised a notable £800,000 in its latest pre-seed round.
New developments ahead
The latest funding round for Nook was led by Speedinvest and TriplePoint, with participation from Ascension, Notion, and angels including fintech founders, Michael Kent (founder of Azimo), Charlie Delingpole (founder of ComplyAdvantage and Market Invoice), and Emre Baran (founder of Qubit and Cerbos).
The company will use the fresh funds to further add new talent to its engineering and product team. It will also focus on further developing its product and commence sales, and marketing activity with SMEs and accountants. The startup is currently a team of six and expects to expand the headcount to 10 by January next year.
“Business payments haven’t kept pace with the way the world works today, making them needlessly cumbersome and time-consuming,” says Olga Shikhantsova, Principal with the Speedinvest Fintech investment team. “The team at Nook have created an elegant solution to the problem, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as they bring it into the world.”
Simplifying B2B payments
As mentioned earlier, Nook’s offering is geared towards delivering a simplified SME payments and invoicing solution. In a conversation with UKTN, the company’s co-founders Joe Lines and Henry Arnold reveal more about the startup, where its idea originates from, and more.
As per the founders, nook can Integrate on top of a user’s accounting software (Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, etc). “We connect the ledger of a buyer and supplier together, removing the need to share inefficient PDF trade documents, saving time and minimising data issues,” Lines adds. The software also enables users to set up their payable/receivable account workflow.
Nook is also touted to be capable of mitigating invoicing fraud by allowing its users to request their suppliers get verified on the platform. This is done prior to the buyer making payment, ensuring any invoice they’ve received originates from the valid email domain of the supplier. Additionally, it verifies it with the bank account details that match the legal entry in the company’s house.
The story behind the idea
The idea behind Nook came up when Henry observed significant invoice fraud at a company he was consulting for. “The company ended up paying out $3m dollars in invoice fraud and it got us thinking about how archaic B2B payments were, which made it easy to perpetuate fraud. We concluded that sending around PDFs over email is insecure and inefficient, and not the future,” the co-founders say.
The duo believes that the future of B2B payments and trade will be through connecting verified parties together and enabling streamlined AP/AR processes with digital trade documentation.