Vic.ai raises $52M, shows that automating accounting processes can be profitable • TechCrunch

Artificial intelligence is an imperfect technology, but one task it excels at is identifying patterns in large amounts of data. Perhaps that’s why a number of startups have emerged in recent years offering AI-based products aimed at automating accounting tasks, such as editing sensitive information in paperwork and filing across departments. Simply put, this is low-hanging fruit.

That’s not to say accounting-focused AI isn’t profitable—quite the opposite. As an example, Vic.ai, which bills itself as an accounting automation platform, announced today that it raised $52 million in a Series C investment round led by GGV Capital and ICONIQ Growth, with participation from Cowboy Ventures and Costanoa Ventures. has brought

The new cash brings Vic.ai’s total raised to $115 million, which CEO Alexander Hagrupp says will be used to attract customers in North America and add purchase order matching, payment processing and “smart spending” capabilities. to the Vic.ai platform.

“In the next phase of growth, Vic.ai will capitalize on the market’s urgent need to automate other elements of finance by expanding its AI solution to manage and analyze all of these tasks,” Hagroup told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Artificial intelligence” has been a hot concept for many years, but large companies are now at the point where they are ready to adopt it at scale, and are doing so by focusing on specific functions such as accounting and finance. “

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Vic.ai was founded in 2017 by Hagerup and Kristoffer Roil, both Norwegian entrepreneurs. Prior to co-founding Vic.ai, Hagerup founded Online Backup, a European provider of backup and disaster recovery services. Royle spearheaded the founding of Telipol, a wireless carrier in Norway that was later acquired by Hudya Group, a Nordic fintech company.

Hagerup and Roil say they built the first version of Vic.ai by training the platform on the historical accounting data and processes of tens of thousands of public companies. The training dataset consisted of accounting documents and relevant journal entries that were reviewed by accountants from consulting firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to Hagerup, this “live use” helped train Vic.ai’s machine learning algorithms over time, enabling it to provide almost “complete autonomy” to process transactions.

Vic.ai mainly handles invoice processing and uses the aforementioned algorithms to select invoices and charges that meet certain confidence thresholds and automatically send them to approvers. The platform also determines the number of steps in the invoice approval process and automatically decides which employee should review each step.

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Hagerup says Vic.ai uses the invoices it processes for customers to improve the performance of its algorithms. The platform’s data is retained for seven years, but he says Vic.ai maintains a “strict separation” of US and EU data to comply with GDPR and strives to exclude personally identifiable information.

Unlike some AI vendors, Vic.ai has the chance to occupy an industry that is beginning to embrace automation. A 2021 survey of nearly 200 companies and financial institutions found that while management priorities and IT availability remain the top barriers to automating workflows, just over a third of respondents said they plan to “more or much more.” spend on accounts payable automation technology. Within the next two years

Vic.ai’s customer base reflects this. According to Hagerup, the company now has 60 enterprise customers, including HSB, Intercom and Armanino, with an active user base that has grown 280 percent compared to 2021. Vic.ai’s 2022 annual contract revenue tripled from 2021 ($5 million). , he added.

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As a true AI company, Vic.ai is transforming Accounts Payable automation into true independence. While some of our competitors offer solutions based on rules and templates, our unique approach sets us apart from the status quo. Moving operations from basic manual routines via email or spreadsheets to a cloud-based solution with audit trails and compliance features is desirable for C-level IT executives… We’re well-positioned for the recession.

Vic.ai competes with vendors such as Upflow, Glean AI and Quadient’s YayPay in the accounts receivable management and automation space. (According to MarketsandMarkets, the accounts payable automation market alone will grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $3.1 billion by 2024.) Tipaletti is probably the most powerful, with $270 million worth $8.3 billion last December.

New York-based Vic.ai has expanded rapidly to outpace its competitors — tripling its headcount to 106 this year — and investing in AI-powered purchase order matching technology. which sees it as a key differentiator.

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