We have some exciting news to share: we’ve raised $13 million in a Series A round led by Redpoint Ventures and including Resolute Ventures, our lead seed investor. We’re thrilled to welcome Redpoint partner Alex Bard to our board. He shares our vision of using artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the back office (check out his blog here) and brings with him deep expertise in creating successful SaaS companies. Redpoint has a strong track record of building important IT companies such as Pure Storage, Twilio, Concur, Zendesk and Stripe. It’s our customers that we want to thank the most because user validation is the only thing that matters. Amazon, Comcast, Hitachi, Intuit and dozens of other customers have provided key insights on their needs, and their feedback on how our AI platform automates and improves the efficiency of back office tasks has been phenomenal.
We founded AppZen because we saw how much manual labor was involved in back office tasks and how many errors and problems were not being addressed. Business is increasingly digital but it’s far from automated and manual audits miss problems that should be found early.
CFOs hate surprises
Jeff Epstein, the former CFO of Oracle, is one of our advisors. He says –
“A CFO’s primary responsibility is to eliminate risks. Unexpected things happen from time to time and people commit errors, but you want to find out as quickly as possible so it’s a small surprise as opposed to a big surprise. At Oracle I had 50 people reviewing expense reports. They were working very hard but humans are fallible so if you can automate the routine work and free up your people to do the higher level analytical work you improve quality, you lower costs and you make your employees happier.”
An example of small surprises becoming bigger is the Sunshine Law for pharmaceutical companies, which bars them from providing doctors with more than $100 in entertainment expenses per year. Each violation carries a $10,000 fine and it is incredibly difficult for human auditors to track, which gives CFOs nightmares. AppZen cross-checks hundreds of internal and external sources including doctors names on hospital web sites — in real time.
Our customers love that they don’t have to do anything — AppZen is integrated with all the major expense reporting platforms such as Concur, Oracle, Chrome River, Coupa and others. Fraud, misuse, and compliance issues are flagged in real-time for audit teams so they can take action immediately – before an expense has been reimbursed.
AI boosts productivity
Our team gets very happy when customers report savings of over 80 percent on processing costs of their expense reports; and this is the surprising part: more than a ten-fold increase in discovering mistakes that their current systems failed to find.
Our customers have seen how we’ve transformed their expense auditing processes — and they are excited about applying AppZen to increase the efficiency of back office systems for invoicing, procurement and more. There’s a lot of business automation that needs to be done and we have a proven solution. With Redpoint’s partnership, the new funding, and the strong support from our customers — our team is as focused as ever on producing extraordinary value for our users and delivering on our vision of AI in the enterprise that will transform every company – true business intelligence.