Automating the Back Office: Our Investment in Plate IQ
Today, we’re excited to announce our $160 million investment in Plate IQ, the leading accounts payable (AP) automation and payments platform for restaurants and hospitality businesses. This investment will help Plate IQ solidify its market-leading position, broaden its VendorPay network, and drive further adoption of digital payments.
Perhaps never before have restaurant owners, and businesses in the hospitality industry more broadly, been as stretched as in the last few years. Before the pandemic, restaurants regularly opened new locations, hired staff, and expanded menu options, often managing this complexity with a mix of legacy back-office technology and manual internal processes. Over the last 18 months, pandemic-related shutdowns, dine-in restrictions, mounting supply chain issues, surging demand, inflationary pressures, and high employee turnover have all led to the industry facing unprecedented strain.
In many ways, the pandemic accelerated a trend that was well underway – the adoption of software solutions like Plate IQ to automate slow, error-prone, and costly back-office processes to improve data accuracy, drive cost savings, and allow owners and operators to focus on running and growing their businesses.
Indeed, Plate IQ has become the cornerstone of back-office automation for over 20,000 customers across fine dining, grocery, accounting firms, fast-casual and more, such as Thomas Keller, W Hotels, Cava, Mixt Greens, and Flores Accounting. With its proprietary machine learning technology, Plate IQ has significantly improved the invoice ingestion process for its clients by accepting invoices in any format from any vendor, extracting detailed and highly accurate line-item level data, automatically exporting data to accounting systems, and facilitating easier vendor payment through Plate IQ’s BillPay module.
FTV has over 20 years of experience investing across the payments landscape, and we have long had conviction about the increasing convergence of vertical software solutions and integrated digital payments. AP software is a natural entry point to address the pain points in B2B payments and consequently has been a thematic area of focus for FTV for many years. It was precisely this thematic insight that first led us to contact the founders of Plate IQ, Bhavuk Kaul and Ram Jayaraman, in early 2018. Over the course of nearly four years, we have observed the company achieve substantial growth and make meaningful progress on critical B2B payment initiatives, including Plate IQ’s BillPay module, VendorPay network, and Spend Management product.
As we look ahead, we’re particularly excited about helping Plate IQ grow and scale across verticals. Though Plate IQ originally built a platform specifically for the restaurant and hospitality sector, its proprietary technology can extend to other verticals. The company has already made significant in-roads with clients in areas such as country clubs, grocery and other retail, construction, healthcare, and more.
We’re excited to partner with Plate IQ’s existing team and new CEO Barrett Boston, former CRO of TriNet with decades of prior vertical software experience, to continue to invest in Plate IQ’s market-leading product and technology, supplier network, and go-to-market across adjacent verticals.
Welcome, Plate IQ, to the FTV family!