Accend Raises $3.2M to Reinvent Fintech Operations and Compliance Workflows

Pranjal Daga
July 9, 2024
July 9, 2024

Accend is a startup that helps fintechs and banks accelerate their business customers’ onboarding processes using AI, with the goal of replacing Accenture’s and other Business Process Outsourcing providers’ (BPOs) grip on the industry  

Today we, at Accend, are announcing our $3.2M in seed funding. The round was led by Adverb Ventures with participation from Y Combinator, General Catalyst, 645 Ventures, and angels from Brex, Stripe, and Carta. Accend has landed marquee customers in US and Europe including Slope, Pleo, Rho, Pliant and more. 

Founded by Pranjal Daga and Yutong Pei, who met during their tenure at Brex leading Product and Engineering on the Fraud Risk team, the team saw an inherent need for increasing quality and efficiency in Compliance and Risk Operations, and an opportunity to do so with AI. Joining their expertise is third Co-Founder Joseph Zhou who was formerly the CFO at a mobile gaming startup.

While the fintech world continues to evolve, the industry remains tethered to manual back-office operations. The process of conducting due diligence while onboarding a new business onto a fintech or banking platform is currently painstakingly complex, excruciatingly repetitive, and  – as a result –  extremely prone to human error. This creates a paradox of innovation held back by tradition, led by BPO providers like Accenture (market cap: $200B+). Accend is geared to disrupt this norm by tackling the key pain points across Risk Ops and Compliance using AI.

Risk and Compliance teams are already using Accend to accelerate business onboarding by automatically conducting extensive research into a business’s product, services, beneficial owners and more, gaining insights into industry risks using a highly customizable AI model trained on their risk appetite, and extracting data from financial documents efficiently. Nick Heins, Head of Capital Markets at Slope, one of the fastest growing fintechs in the US, said, “With Accend, we were able to not only find significant time savings with over 80% reduction in manual effort required, but also provide a superior experience to our customers.”

“These shortcomings pose multiple risks. The business risk of providing a suboptimal customer experience leading to drop offs or worse, rejecting a legitimate customer leading to loss in revenue,” said Co-Founder and Co-CEO Pranjal Daga. “At the same time, the compliance risk leading to hefty penalties (eg: Coinbase’s $100M fine), legal consequences, significant damage to the company's reputation, and even the potential loss of banking partnerships (existential crisis alert!)”

Given this founder-market fit, Accend has already been able to land marquee customers in the US and European markets. Among them is Pleo, one of the largest B2B spend management and credit card providers in Europe. 

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Accend on this pioneering initiative to develop our AI-enabled KYB system,” said Dan Jacobson, Head of Global Business Operations, Pleo. “Our goal at Pleo is to onboard more customers without adding operations headcount. With Accend’s AI for automated business nature and industry risk verification, we aim to free our analysts from repetitive manual research, enabling them to focus on quality assurance.” 

Managing Director & Co-Founder of Adverb Ventures Jessica Verrilli said, “The manual and repetitive compliance workflows within fintechs are ripe for disruption with automation. The Accend team brings a deep expertise in this area having built products at Brex and we're excited to see them bring these insights and innovation to the broader industry.”

Pranjal also mentioned that building on these successes, Accend is moving full-speed ahead towards its vision of disrupting BPOs with AI. While the team started out by accelerating the business onboarding process, they are expanding into accelerating underwriting and are partnering with fast growing fintechs to bring this use case to reality in Accend.

About Accend

[Accend Co-Founders Joseph Zhou, Pranjal Daga, and Yutong Pei (L-R)]

Accend helps fintechs and banks accelerate business customers' onboarding process. Risk and Compliance teams use Accend to

  • ​Onboard good customers faster ==> Better End Customer Experience, Increase in Revenue
  • ​Improve operational efficiency ==> Reduce Cost
  • ​Excel on compliance ==> Proactively adhere to partner banks' and regulators' requirements

About Adverb Ventures

Adverb is an early stage venture fund co-founded by Jessica Verrilli and April Underwood. Jessica was previously VP of Corp Dev & Strategy at Twitter and a GP at Google Ventures. April was a Director of Product and BD at Twitter and Chief Product Officer at Slack and currently sits on the boards of Zillow and Eventbrite. They co-founded #ANGELS and previously personally invested in Gusto, Instacart, Coinbase, Anchorage, Vanta, Color, and many more.

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How Decentro transformed its KYB process with Accend’s industry-leading AI

"Accend’s industry-leading SaaS for business evaluation and industry risk verification has helped automate our merchant onboarding process. Their innovative product has significantly enhanced efficiency, greatly improving the onboarding experience for our payment aggregation/collection customers. Accend’s team is also very responsive and quick with iterations, which is a huge plus"

Rohit Taneja

Co-Founder & CEO @ Decentro

How Pleo frees its operation team from repetitive manual research with Accend’s industry risk product

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Accend on this pioneering initiative to develop our AI-enabled KYC system. As Pleo continues to grow rapidly, our goal is to onboard more customers without adding operations headcount. With Accend's automated business nature and industry risk verification, we aim to free our analysts from repetitive manual research, enabling them to focus on quality assurance. We look forward to exploring many more innovative features together, further elevating our onboarding capabilities."

Dan Jacobson

Sr. Director, Head of Business Operations @ Pleo

Driving team efficiency, reducing over 80% of manual effort, and enhancing customer experience with Slope

"With Accend, we were able to not only find significant time savings with over 80% reduction in manual effort required, but also provide a superior experience to our customers."

Nick Heins

Head of Capital Markets @ Slope