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This London fintech snaps $1.1M for its ‘Conversational AI’ empowering finance teams on Slack and Teams

Jenesys AI funding
Picture credits: Jenesys AI

Many companies are now using GenAI to make transactional accounting, global business-to-business (B2B) payments, and compliance processes better and more efficient. In simpler terms, it’s about using GenAI to improve how businesses manage their money transactions, especially when dealing with other businesses globally, while also making sure they follow the necessary rules. 

One of the London-based GenAI fintech startups–Jenesys AI–building an AI ‘bookkeeper’ to support with B2B payments and compliance for back office accounting has now raised $1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round. The investment round was led by veteran AI investors Nick Slater and John Spindler at London’s Twin Path Ventures, with participation from Fuel Ventures, Antler (that also backed NeoCarbon and Quinky recently), Hatcher+ in Singapore, and seasoned angel investors from the US and UK.

As per the company press release, Jenesys AI will use the fresh capital for its engineering and customer success and to expand its global payment compliance. 

So what is ‘Jack’?

Founded by Nicolai Thomson and Tosin Dairo in late 2022 after they met at the Antler UK founder residency, Jenesys AI helps businesses overcome cashflow worries by enabling instant reconciliation so supply chain payments are faster than card payments. The company has built ‘Jack’, a conversational AI for finance teams, which integrates with Slack and Teams to assist in low-value transactional finance tasks. Jack also has transcription (S2T) technology for optimising worker productivity.

Nicolai has been a serial entrepreneur since 2018, cofounding four companies following a career in cyber security and telco IT, building digital transformation programs with Government and Enterprise. At the same time, Tosin has dedicated his career to applying AI to solve real-world problems.

In a conversation with TFN, Nicolai Thomson, CEO & co-founder, Jenesys AI, tells how did they meet and recalls, “Experiencing the challenges of company expenditures and motivated by slow financial processes, as founders, we both identified the need for improvement. Tosin, leveraging his AI expertise from detecting fake news, recognised the applicability of his skills in financial management. A transformative meeting at Pret near the Aldgate BT building sparked the creation of Jenesys AI, a venture committed to integrating AI into financial operations beyond conventional data analysis.”

Jenesys AI focuses on elevating the role of bookkeepers and accountants with an AI co-pilot called “Jack”. By shifting human accountants to supervisory positions, Jenesys AI’s technology minimises errors and inconsistencies in transaction reconciliation, compliance and payments.

Jack is an AI co-pilot powered by their proprietary Accounting Language Model (ALM). It updates budgets and complete the bookkeeping reconciliation, fraud, and compliance check in under 30 seconds before making a domestic or global payment, effectively operating from bookkeeper to internal auditor to ensure adherence to accounting policy and international financial regulations.

Thomson says, “The AI bookkeeper, Jack, automates 90% of traditional bookkeeping tasks to correctly report your VAT and tax position when buying goods and services from suppliers. It is touted to help approvers improve budget performance by 20-25%  Additionally, Jack checks for fraud and compliance when a supplier invoice or request to spend company money comes in from a staff member, protecting your business from losing money or getting any compliance surprises when you’re audited.”

When asked how it differs from its competitors, Jenesys AI responded, “⁠⁠We’re favoured by accountants for our app-less, password-free approach. Their clients use WhatsApp/Slack for receipt submissions and integrate their inboxes so invoices are extracted automatically. While being limited to small UK businesses due to non-UK payment compliance issues, we’ll offer a more versatile payment solution in March 2024.” 

Acquisition of VAT Key

In addition to the pre-seed investment, the London AI bookkeeper startup also announced the acquisition of a Danish startup called VAT Key, an a16z-backed tax tech startup for a six-figure sum. As a part of this deal, Jonathan Bredo, the founder of VAT Key and who was one of the first employees at Pleo, joined Jenesys AI. With this move, the team size of the company accounts for 11. 

Commenting on how this acquisition helps it, Thomson states, “This move brings Jonathan Bredo to Jenesys to lead payments and compliance, enhancing our capabilities in international payments and compliance for businesses needing to remove the burden of manual payment setup. Additionally, the acquisition boosts our validation of Jack’s AI in handling EU-wide invoices and receipts.” 

Commenting on the funding round, Nick Slater, Partner at Twin Path Ventures, an early-stage AI fund, commented, “With the current explosion in AI capabilities, we believe Jenesys is well placed to take advantage. The team passed extensive technical due diligence to prove their use of cutting edge AI, integrating it directly into everyday workflows to allow for seamless productivity gains. We are very excited about what they can achieve.”

“We are hugely excited to join Jenesys on their journey towards transforming the FinOps space with their leading-edge technology. Nicolai and Tosin are two impressive founders who have assembled a fantastic team of executors. We’re confident they can go and win in this market,” said Mark Pearson, Managing Partner, Fuel Ventures.

Ollie Purdue, Partner at Antler, commented, “AI is the single biggest growth opportunity in the world, and Jenesys is applying genuine innovation in this space to transform invoice and cash flow management. Today’s funding and acquisition announcement is a testament to their future potential. This ambitious and highly skilled founding team builds world-class technology that addresses an urgent market demand. We are proud to have backed Nicolai and Tosin from day zero and to continue backing them as they grow.”

Tosin Dairo, drawing parallels with ChatGPT, noted his transition from Veterinary Surgery to AI. “The challenges in financial operations are ripe for AI intervention. We’re set to revolutionise an age-old profession,” Dairo added. Angel investor Michael Corcione, Cybersecurity Partner at PKF Advisory, underscores Jack’s role in fraud prevention and compliance, praising its proactive capabilities.

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