The Benzinga Global Fintech Awards are a yearly showcase of the greatest advents in fintech from leaders and visionaries in the worlds of finance and technology. This year, we have executives, developers and innovators from the likes of Facebook, Amazon, IBM, JP Morgan, Zelle, TD Ameritrade, TradeStation, Fidelity, and so many more.
The BZ Awards is an oscar-like event to showcase the companies with the most impressive technology, who are paving the future in financial services and capital markets. In preparation for its biggest installment yet this May, we're profiling the companies who have moved to the final round of judging for the BZ Awards. In this feature we focus in on AppZen.
What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?
AppZen is the world's first artificial intelligence solution for back office automation. Its service uses AI to automate expense report auditing and detect intentional and accidental compliance issues and fraud. AppZen’s patented AI technology combines computer vision, deep learning and natural language processing to automatically read and understand expense reports, receipts, and travel documents and cross-check them with hundreds of internal and external data sources in real-time, to determine the accuracy and legitimacy of every expense. The solution assigns risk scores to each expense, protecting the company from expense misuse and regulatory non-compliance. With machine learning, the platform also gets smarter as time goes on. The company's vision to save companies significant dollars and streamline inefficiencies across the back office through AI, goes beyond expenses.
Currently only 10-20% of expenses get paid out with proper auditing yet fraud and compliance issues account for a half trillion dollar issue in the U.S. The AppZen platform takes auditing coverage from 10% to 100%, looking at every individual expense against T&E policies, VAT, FCPA regulations, IRS rules and regulatory requirements.
The platform's sophistication is evident in its ability to comprehensively scan hundreds of thousands of expenses in real time. AppZen can highlight behavioral patterns over time to unearth the true intent of every expense. Large enterprises process thousands of expense reports daily, usually via a team of 10 or fewer T&E professionals. In human terms, such volume of transactions already borders on the impossible – compounded by the likelihood of human error and the strident regulatory environment.
Who are your customers?
The company has seen exponential growth in the last year; it has quadrupled its client base and doubled its employees in 2018 alone. Clients won since January 2017 include; Amazon, Citi, Intuit, Salesforce, DHL, Airbus, Orange, Intuitive Surgical, Arthur J Gallagher, Zimmer Biomet, Mortenson, Cloudera, Marvell, GlobalFoundries, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, among others.
The platform has amassed almost 10% of the Fortune 50 enterprises, including Amazon, Hitachi, Comcast, Sunrun and Intuit. Intuit saw over $200,000 in savings in the first 6 weeks of going live.
How long have you been in business?
The company was founded in 2012
Where are you located?
Who is your company's leadership? What kind of experience do they have?
Co-founders, Anant Kale and Kunal Verma founded AppZen with a vision to build the next generation of AI driven back office applications for the enterprise. The company was founded in 2012 and graduated from 500 Startups in 2015, raising $3 million in funding in 2016, with an additional $13 million in Series A in November 2017.
Anant has over 15 years experience developing complex software, previously serving as VP of Applications at Fujitsu. He holds an MBA and a BS in Finance and Engineering from Mumbai University.
As CTO, Kunal is responsible for product development and engineering, technology architecture, and developing the IP for AppZen’s AI technologies. Prior to AppZen he was a Research Lead at Accenture Tech Labs, leading global R&D teams of engineers; he developed tools used at hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. He earned his BE from Mumbai University in Electronics and Telecom, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia University with a focus on semantic technologies.
Who are your investors, if any?
Redpoint, Resolute, Silicon Valley Bank and Bloomberg Beta. We've raised $17 million to date (Series A).
Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?
AppZen's proprietary AI driven auditing and compliance platform reduces audit costs by 80% and annual T&E spend by up to 5%, while improving financial risk detection by 10 fold and cutting human resources required to process expense reports by up to 90%.
Beyond the hard dollar savings, AppZen is paving the way to show how Artificial Intelligence will transform enterprise operations. It provides a platform that unearths information that was going unnoticed, and empowers auditing teams to change behaviors of employees by freeing up their time to focus on the real issues at hand. This improves processes, management, risk detection and planning across the business.
To meet with the minds behind companies like AppZen and others testing the cutting edge of fintech, grab a ticket to the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards May 15-16 in New York.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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