B2B payment decisions start-up Previse, has secured a £800k R&D grant from Scottish Enterprise, to set up an new development centre in Glasgow, creating 37 new data science jobs.
This will be the London-based company's first office in Scotland, from where it plans to start rolling out its first instant-payments programme with a number of blue chip multinational buyers.
Welcoming the announcement Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: "Scotland is a world renowned centre for expertise in data science and digital technologies and I am delighted to welcome Previse to our thriving financial technology community.
"The Scottish Government are supporting business innovation by providing an additional £15 million a year for research and development, which will aim to help lever in further business expenditure on research and development that will stimulate further economic and employment growth, and develop leading edge expertise."
Previse's technology uses artificial intelligence to enable large businesses to pay their suppliers the day they receive an invoice. Using hundreds of millions of data points, it creates an independent score of a multinational buyer's likelihood to pay an invoice. The technology uses this to make a decision about which invoices will be paid, so funding can be extended to SME suppliers instantly.
Previse's technology aims to tackle the problem of late payment for the supply chain, which has been identified as a growing challenge for Britain's small businesses. With a reported 60 per cent experiencing the problem, figures show that late payments force 50,000 UK businesses to close every year.1
David Brown, Previse's co-founder and chief product officer, said: "Late invoice payments is a global problem. Failing to pay on time for the goods and services is not only morally wrong, it makes no commercial sense. It drives up the cost of business for SME suppliers which, in the end, will feed through into purchasing costs for buyers. After all, there is no such thing as free money.
"Glasgow has become a thriving centre of UK financial technology, making it an ideal place for us. We are looking forward to further strengthening our ties to the Scottish business community as well as Scottish academia, through our work with The Data Lab, and support from Scottish Enterprise to take full advantage of the power of artificial technology to tackle late payments once and for all."
Scottish Enterprise, and Scotland's international arm, Scottish Development International, have worked closely with the company to support its move into Glasgow.
Sharon Hamilton, international sector head for financial and business services at Scottish Enterprise said: "It's been estimated that the fintech sector could create up to 15,000 new jobs in Scotland over the next decade – and attracting new companies such as Previse to locate here will play a key role in achieving this potential.
"Previse's technology has the potential to make a significant impact on small businesses operating across the UK and is exactly the kind of innovation that will help grow the sector. We're delighted the company has recognised Scotland as the right location in which to expand its operations, and look forward to continuing to work with Previse to support its growth ambitions."
Previse is committed to engaging with Scotland's academic community to support Scotland's growing technology sector and create high-quality jobs in data science and AI.
Through its partnership with The Data Lab, Scotland's Data Science innovation centre, Previse is tapping into some of Scotland's top data science academics for two projects to further develop its data analytics technology later in the year.
1 From a 2016 FSB report entitled: Time to act: The economic impacts of poor payment practice