Candis, a startup developing a platform for automated accounting and payment processes, this week closed a €12 million ($13.97 million) funding round. A spokesperson for the company said the money will be used to further development of Candis’ machine learning engine and fuel growth and expansion within Europe, specifically in the Netherlands.
Most paperwork is still done manually. According to a study published by Wakefield Research and Concur, 84% of small businesses rely on some kind of manual process each day. Some of these are financial and require specialized knowledge, so the stakes are high. Errors could result in a client being unable to deliver payments or in late bills that hurt planning. IBM pegs the cost of poor-quality data at $3.1 trillion a year.
Candis aims to expedite some of the more complex workflows with algorithms that import files, extract data, approve invoices, and handle exporting. Customers upload documents in one place by scanning them with an app or forwarding them to an email address. The platform handles payment reconciliation with linked business accounts, credit cards, and PayPal accounts by assigning account movements to the correct invoices and notifying admins of missing documents. Candis also automatically updates payment lists and maintains an overview of open liabilities and completed invoices, while at the same time storing things like invoice numbers to simplify bank transfers and collaboration among team members.
Candis’ platform runs without installation in a web browser on any device, and the company claims it stores data on ISO-certified servers in Germany.
Studies show the vast majority of day-to-day accounting tasks can be automated with software. That may be why over 50% of respondents in a survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants said they anticipate the development of automated and intelligent systems will have a significant impact on accounting businesses over the next 30 years. Indeed, Candis cofounder and managing director Christian Ritosek says the company’s software automates more than 80% of accounting processes for tax advisors at “thousands” of companies. Despite competition like Botkeeper, business has grown by 500% since the company’s last funding round at the end of 2018. Ritosek estimates the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) market in the EU to be worth around $4 billion.
“Our machine-learning-based technology disrupts a whole industry, in which the majority of tasks are still very manual,” Ritosek said in a statement. “The pattern recognition engine automates accounting workflows and empowers companies with real-time data and insights to make better financial decisions.”
Existing investors Viola Ventures and Rabo Frontier Ventures, the investment arm of Rabobank, led this latest investment in Berlin-based Candis. Returning investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Point Nine Capital, and Speedinvest (the main incubator of Commerzbank and 42CAP) also participated.