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Israeli startup Panax raises $10 million in Series A funding for its AI-powered cash flow management platform

High interest rates and financial pressures have made it more important than ever for finance teams to get better at handling cash flow, and some startups want to help.

One of them is two-year-old Israeli startup Panax, which just raised a $10 million Series A round led by Team8 with participation from TLV Partners.

Startups have found some success in the CFO position by streamlining processes and freeing up time to tackle strategic tasks. SVB’s collapse has been a boon for the cash management category, which includes companies such as Embat, Kyriba, Statement and Vesto.

Unlike some of these companies, Panax focuses on mid-sized and large companies in traditional industries such as manufacturing, logistics and real estate. While they have more needs than startups, they don’t always have the types of large finance departments that traditional solutions can cater for.

In addition to its goals, Panax also wants to differentiate its offerings beyond just adding investment accounts and lines of credit to its offerings.

Panax CEO Noam Mills told TechCrunch that while visualizing cash flow was helpful, Panax wanted to do more than just provide a dashboard.She believes helping clients requires “using data to understand what really matters, influence those decisions and help them manage [their treasury]”.

This value proposition seems to be resonating with Panax’s early adopters, including companies like public grooming-focused Oddity, for whom cash management automation can save time and money.

Following a $5.5 million seed round led by TLV Partners, bringing its total funding to $15.5 million, the new round of funding will help Panax expand its approach to go-to-market and build a stronger AI and data team as it already has Enough data, Mills said.

Artificial intelligence already plays an important role at Panax: it helps the startup make sense of all the financial data it aggregates, and can also identify insights and predict cash flow. For Mills, presenting action items is where AI can really help. “Often there is no formal finance department […] Therefore, we see AI as an important enabler to be proactive and set the right flag for customers. “

Panax Dashboard Reports - Cash Bridge
Image Source: Ginseng

The clients Panax pursues are companies with complex money management needs; typically, they operate currencies in multiple locations. Foreign exchange is one aspect Panax can help optimize, which could bring additional revenue to the company in addition to its SaaS model, which is priced based on the complexity of each client’s operations.

Many stakeholders want a piece of the pie in helping businesses optimize cash flow. For example, they can apply for a loan and request working capital or a line of credit from a banking app or accounting software interface. But Panax has a card up its sleeve as a one-stop money management dashboard that integrates recommendations and forecasts.

Mills said Panax’s goal is for finance teams to execute the decisions they’re supposed to be making without having to go anywhere else. “[That] If we provide them with insights, they can move more cash into interest-bearing accounts. We feel that embedding this functionality in our platform is closely aligned with our value proposition and these are things that we develop across many different use cases for money movement. “

Mills’ understanding of these needs comes from her experience in private equity, which she shares with chief commercial officer and co-founder Niv Yaar. But her personal background is quite unique: Before working in private equity and corporate finance, she was an Olympic fencer in Israel and won multiple championships in her home country.

When asked what her experience as an athlete and her role as a CEO have in common, she highlighted similar psychological demands, such as persistence and the ability to cope with uncertainty. But fencing is an individual sport, while running a business is “more of a team sport.”

Following the Series A round, Panax will expand its New York office and Yaar will move there, but its R&D arm will remain in Israel. So will Panax CTO and third co-founder Sefi Itzkovich. Sefi Itzkovich once served as CTO at Facebook. After Otonomo was listed through SPAC, he worked on machine learning at Facebook.

“There is competition for talent everywhere [but] We have deep roots in the Israeli R&D community through our CTO and founding team, which gives us a certain advantage in the competition for talent,” said Mills.

Mills expects network effects to also play out in New York City, where Team8 has offices. But another reason she and her co-founders chose the city was the greater overlap in time zones in Israel compared to the Bay Area, and its relevance to fintech. “The center is more in New York and the East Coast,” Mills said.

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