Co-authored by Rebecca Kaden
Even with the explosion of new digital payment options over the last decade, there is still a wide gap between the B2C and B2B payment user experience.
On the consumer side, buy now pay later (BNPL) companies like Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, and Addi (backed by USV) allow users globally to seamlessly pay in installments at checkout. In the US alone, the number of BNPL customers has grown by more than 300% per year since 2018, reaching 45 million users in 2021 and a total spend of $20.8 billion. For consumers, real-time financing options at checkout are table stakes, and B2C merchants benefit from access to working capital and higher average order values.
Invoice factoring is an old concept for B2B payments, but many of the current digital solutions are clunky, requiring business buyers to jump through hoops including lengthy questionnaires and a multi day approval process. It is a finance-centric rather than user-centric product approach.
That’s where Slope, our latest investment, comes in. Slope is building butter for B2B BNPL: automated, 0-question, instantaneous underwriting for B2B installment payments. Slope empowers their customers by making access to capital easy; they enable a consumer-grade experience on the front end and leverage data science and machine learning powered underwriting on the back end, with almost no technical integration required.
Slope’s first customers are B2B marketplaces across the US and Mexico, a rapidly growing market estimated to reach $3.6 trillion in sales by 2024. These transaction rich marketplaces power Slope’s underwriting engine and allow them to offer instantaneous credit decisioning to the end business buyers on these platforms. To date, Slope’s customers see a 168% average AOV lift and over 26% of total GMV flowing through Slope.
While the customer base for Slope is broad and the pain points are universal, the genesis for the company is deeply personal. Lawrence’s experience helping his parents’ Brazilian wholesale toy business sell into mom and pop stores exposed him to the massive opportunity in B2B payments firsthand. We are excited to back Lawrence and Alice, stellar co-founders with deep product experience and dedication to their customers in the next phase of their journey alongside our friends at Monashees, with participation from Tiger Global, GFC, and YC.