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Our Investment in Panax: The Rebundling of Corporate Banking

A Quick History Lesson

Jim Barksdale, the former CEO of Netscape, famously said that there “are only two ways to make money in business: one is to bundle; the other is unbundle.”

One of the major drivers in fintech has been unbundling the bank. Historically, banks provided a plethora of services for both consumers and businesses alike. In fact, most banks still do. But fintech startups over the past few decades have come along to provide digital native offerings of very specific use cases in order to provide tailored experiences for end users that are 10x better. 

And while many of the above examples are consumer examples, a similar trend occurred in the world of corporate banking. 

The traditional corporate banking set up looked something like this:

Finance teams managed company finances primarily through interacting with their corporate banker, or in more recent years, through a combination of interacting with a banker as well as a digital interface. Banks prided themselves on being a one stop shop for a company’s needs, and indeed they were chosen based on their ability to solve a diverse set of requirements.

But then fintechs began selling to finance teams as well.

This is only a snapshot of the various tools and services that finance teams now use to optimize their operations. Each and every one of the above solutions provides value to customers – but with this proliferation of fintechs came added complexity. 

Finance leaders in 2024 spend their time flipping between countless dashboards and excel spreadsheets, attempting to input, extract and update data across them all in order to create accurate forecasts and reporting. Aside from arduous and unnecessary repeat work, the surface area for errors has never been larger.

The collapse of SVB in early 2023 only compounded this issue by demonstrating the clear need for companies to manage multiple bank accounts along with all of their fintech tools so as to not have all their capital eggs in one deposit account basket. 

Add on top of that the refocus on capital efficiency over the past few years post a record era of low interest rates and the result is finance teams that are overworked and not as efficient as they should be. 

 

The Great Rebundling

The above history helps explain why we are excited to announce our seed and series A investments in Panax. Panax’s goal is to give control back to finance teams and provide them with a centralized management layer to monitor, execute and forecast financial operations.

We believe that the time to rebundle has arrived. Corporate customers want ease of use and best of suite functionality – something that can only be delivered through a bundle. But it’s not realistic to expect traditional banks to be able to provide that functionality and with Panax there’s no need to. 

Panax customers are encouraged to continue using their favorite fintech products or onboard with recommended vendors within Panax’s ecosystem, all while using Panax’s operational layer in order to get the best of both the bundled and unbundled worlds. 

Since first meeting Noam Mills (CEO), Niv Yaar (COO) and Sefi Itzkovich (CTO) in 2022, it was clear that they were the right founders to tackle this issue. Due to their background as finance operators, PE investors and leaders at fast growing startups, they had experienced the pain first hand and have approached solving the problem with elegance and efficiency from day 1 – clearly eating their own dog food. 

Panax has been seeing impressive traction selling to mid-sized companies with complex treasuries in a wide range of verticals spanning manufacturing and services, through real estate firms and tech companies. Panax enables finance teams to generate income for their companies through liquidity optimization, which, in today’s economic climate, is proving itself as a huge value for finance teams around the world.

The team that they’ve built and the platform that they’ve delighted customers around the world with since then have only deepened our conviction in their vision. We couldn’t be happier to be partnered with them on their journey to empower finance teams.