Apruve Inc. — a Minneapolis fintech startup that helps businesses eliminate accounts receivable from their balance sheets — raised $6 million from investors to add more staff and accelerate sales.
The company raised the money, a Series A round, from investors led by Cloud Apps Capital Partners of San Francisco and two firms that previously invested in it, TTV Capital of Atlanta and Allegis Capital of Palo Alto, Calif.
Apruve launched several years ago with funds from angel investors in the Twin Cities and is one of several local fintech firms in the region that has hit its stride with customers and financiers in the past year.
Initially, the company focused on developing purchase-order software for businesses. But some early users discussed with Apruve executives the difficulty of managing ongoing orders and extending payment terms to their customers.
As a result of those discussions, Apruve last year shifted focus and developed a system to lower the cost and risk of accounts receivable, particularly for large manufacturers dealing with frequent, ongoing orders.
“As a supplier, they’re acting like a bank or credit bureau and lending to customers on a daily basis. That incurs costs,” said Michael Noble, founder and chief executive of Apruve.
The company created a platform involving third-party underwriters to take on the financial risk and collection of invoices. Users of Apruve’s order system get paid within 24 hours while it takes on the work of collecting payments from those users’ customers.
“We help drive sales for our customers without the added overhead or financial risk,” Noble said.
The system is similar to the way credit card companies provide financing to consumers — and so is the way Apruve generates revenue. Its gets a fee ranging from 1 percent to 2.75 percent of the value of orders through its system.
He said the company’s platform works best for a business that frequently takes orders from the same customers, such as manufacturers that supply parts to other manufacturers or medical product firms that deal with clinics and hospitals.
With the new funding, Apruve will add more staff.
“We have an awesome team today that has gotten us this far. We just really need to build on it,” Noble said. “As you get more customers, they want more things, more features and what not. We have a number of technology challenges to continue to solve.”
Apruve will also beef up its sales team.
“This is a pain point for many companies,” Noble said, referring to the wait for customers to pay. “Our challenge is to continue to get the word out about how we can solve this problem.”