Bulk payments startup Comma raises $6M Seed round led by Octopus and Connect ' TechCrunch

Comma, a UK-based startup that offers open banking bulk payments, has raised 4.34M ($6m) in a Seed round led by Octopus Ventures. Village Global and Portman Wills, founders of Wagestream and Peter Briffet, joined them.According to the company, it allows micro and small businesses to pay their bills, salaries and taxes in bulk using high-street small business bank accounts. This saves them time and money. BACS can be difficult to obtain and expensive. Virtual accounts also require KYC and add complexity to bookkeeping.Comma claims that there was a significant increase in financial outsourcing during the pandemic. Open banking bulk payment APIs were available from many of the High St banks, making it possible to launch the product. This resulted in the startup gaining a lot more business.The Comma app can be connected to accounting systems (Xero Quickbooks Sage), and allows a business to enter and manage suppliers bank details without requiring bank access. The system can pay up to 50 payees simultaneously and sends payments to the accounting system.Tom Beckenham, founder of the company, said that he was the COO of a business that paid hundreds of employees and bill across continents. It was very manual. I realized that larger companies had corporate banking and systems for managing payments. Small businesses didn't have these systems and they were often ignored. The traditional solutions for small businesses were expensive and did not eliminate most of the market.He stated that he saw a chance to use open banking technology to reach this long tail of companies and solve all payments holistically. We just passed the 1,000,000 mark in payments. By the end of quarter, we will be at 1 million per week.The startup is competing in the UK with Telleroo and Credec. The closest international comparison is Melio in America. Libeo in France also offers something similar.