Home » With $160M in New Funding, Plate IQ Looks to Improve B2B Payments

With $160M in New Funding, Plate IQ Looks to Improve B2B Payments

by 100IQ Win The Knowledge


For restaurants, back-office tasks have always been a chore. Assimilating invoices, getting them ingested into the general ledger and accounting systems, facilitating the payments back to suppliers — it’s all very labor-intensive.

The pandemic and resulting labor shortage have only heightened the challenge, and restaurants are finding that they just can’t find the people they need to get the job done.

“When you can’t find that labor, suddenly you wake up and realize that you’ve got to find another way to do it,” Plate IQ CEO Barrett Boston told PYMNTS. “That, plus the fact that we’re all working in different locations, you’re trying to find technology-driven ways to get this task done.”

Plate IQ helps address this challenge with its restaurant and hospitality accounts payable (AP) automation and payments platform. On Thursday (Nov. 4), Plate IQ announced that it had raised $160 million in Series B funding.

Read more: Plate IQ Raises $160M to Close Vendor-Operator Supply Chain Gap via Automation

Creating a Seamless Payment Process for B2B

While consumers have been able to use Venmo or Apple Pay, for instance, to make seamless mobile payments for some time, the B2B side has some catching up to do.

B2B payments remain bogged down by high processing costs and payment delays, manual processes, risk of fraud and a need to coordinate across payment modalities, such as check, ACH, credit card, debit card and wire. At the same time, restaurants are trying to provide for transparency in that process and maintain good relationships with suppliers.

“What we’re trying to do, if you like to think of it that way, is provide the same level of ease of use, transparency and security that you might see in a consumer transaction over in a B2B payments transaction,” Boston said.

Approaching Critical Mass

Plate IQ now has 200,000 suppliers on VendorPay, its network that allows customers to pay vendors directly from their AP platforms. Boston said that’s important because it’s approaching the critical mass that means restaurants and other customers will be able to find their vendors on the network.

Another important number is the size of the opportunity. The midmarket represents a $3.3 trillion opportunity in payments processing alone, and Plate IQ processed $2 billion in invoice payments through the network between March 2020 and October 2021.

“You can see by those numbers that we’re just getting started in terms of addressing that opportunity,” Boston said.

Choosing the Timing and Form of Payments

As an added incentive, Boston said, clients who pay with Plate IQ’s virtual card earn cash back on their transactions, and many find they’re able to offset their AP software subscription fees by doing so.

“That’s a very, very compelling aspect of our value proposition,” Boston said.

Relationships with suppliers are important in any industry, so it’s critical for restaurants and other businesses to pay them in the form they want transparently, accurately, securely and quickly. And Plate IQ’s customers are looking for something that helps them strengthen their supplier relationships — and is easier to use.

“They want to be able, from any location they happen to be in, to easily click on the payments they want to make to the suppliers that they want to make and be able to easily dictate the timing and modality of that payment,” Boston said. “And that’s what they can do through the VendorPay network.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK

About: It’s almost go time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan to make at least some of their purchases online — 13% more than did in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to learn what is driving online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preference.



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