Afternoon Coffee: Bottomline expands treasury function on fintech platform; China manufacturing grows at slow pace; Lockstep raises $10 million

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Bottomline, a financial technology solution provider, announced expanded treasury capabilities of its integrated Payments and Cash Lifecycle Platform.

According to a press release, the platform enables financial managers to optimize cash, liquidity and working capital with a unified solution that combines payables, receivables and treasury management. It aims to deliver greater visibility and control throughout the end-to-end cash lifecycle.

In one tool, managers can initiate and manage payments, automate payables and receivables, conduct sophisticated cash forecasting or scenario planning, optimize liquidity and investment returns, and manage borrowing needs and banking relationships. As part of the enhanced platform, Bottomline announced a business partnership with TreasuryXpress, a cloud-based treasury management solution.

“Businesses need simpler and more integrated solutions that offer better control and management of cash,” Rob Eberle, CEO of Bottomline, said in the press release. “At the core of our innovation agenda, we are transforming payments and cash management processes to streamline and simplify the end-to-end cash lifecycle for businesses of all sizes, from SMBs to enterprises.

"An integrated payables, receivables and treasury management solution is an important innovation, for both corporates and the banks that serve them. Our combination with TreasuryXpress enables us to extend from our leading business payments capabilities to offer a uniquely comprehensive solution across the entire cash management lifecycle.”

Chinese manufacturing growth slows in January

China’s factory activity grew at the slowest pace in five months as the country was hit by a wave of coronavirus infections, but growth remained in line with the ongoing recovery in the world’s second-largest economy, according to Reuters.

The manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 51.3 in January from 51.9 in December. However, this remained above the 50-point mark that indicates growth rather than contraction.

In January, mainland China reported more than 2,000 local cases of Covid-19. Authorities warned about transmission risks during the multi-day holiday for Lunar New Year, which is Feb. 12 this year, the article said. Last month, the government locked down several large cities while tens of millions were tested for Covid-19, interrupting factory activity and weighing on the services sector.

“The recent localized epidemic has had a certain impact on the production and operation of some enterprises, and the overall expansion of the manufacturing industry has slowed,” Zhao Qinghe, an official at the Chinese statistics bureau, said in a statement that Reuters reported.

“The period before and after the Lunar New Year is also traditionally an off-season for the country’s manufacturing industry.”

Lockstep receives $10 million round of funding

Lockstep, an accounting cloud solution, on Wednesday announced a $10 million round of funding led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from Clocktower Ventures and Revel Partners.

Lockstep connects accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) departments so they can work better together. Lockstep helps more than 180 customers process 800,000 invoices per month with 4 million entities, according to a press release announcing the funding. It can integrate over 40 ERP accounting solutions under one accounting cloud.

“Lockstep surveys show that over 90% of the email addresses accounting departments use for transactions with trading partners have no automation to manage and retain data,” Pete Casella, Partner at Point72 Ventures, said in the press release. “We believe Lockstep can modernize accounting by automating communications and providing online accounts for trading partners, helping companies seamlessly integrate information and eliminate bottlenecks.”

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