NFL legend Joe Montana was one of the investors in a seed round of funding in new Israeli startup Walnut which brought in $2.5 million. At the same time Israel’s fintech startup Tipalti brought in $150 million in a Series E round which gave the company a valuation of more than $2 billion.
Walnut was founded earlier this year back in BCV (Before Corona Virus) by co-founders Yoav Vilner and Danni Friedland.
The Hall of Fame quarterback who won Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers joined Wix CEO, Avishay Abrahami, NFX, Matt Wyndowe, partner at Graph Ventures; Kenny Stone, co-founder at Plangrid; Immad Akhund, former YCombinator PT partner and current CEO at Mercury; and Alon Gamzu, CEO at RoundForest as an investors.
So what does Walnut do? It basically helps companies improve their sales teams’ performances. The company says that it offers a “failure-free, codeless and 100% customizable” platform that empowers every sales rep to “own their successful sales demo experience.”
Joe Montana is a managing partner at Liquid 2 (L2) investors. The firms describes him as a serial angel investor.
— Joseph Montana (@JoeMontana) September 24, 2020
“22 years ago, Bill Gates went on stage to showcase Windows 98, and was met with the ‘blue screen of death’ in front of the entire world. Many years have passed since that iconic moment, many industries have been re-invented, but one thing hasn’t changed – showcasing your product in real time is a terrifying experience,” said Walnut co-founder and CEO Yoav Vilner. “Over the past six months, we focused our resources on perfecting the combination of multiple technologies to provide sales teams with the tools needed for frictionless customized and optimized product demos. We realized that the need for such a service increased massively since the onset of the pandemic, as remote sales became common practice.”
“Our mission is to turn inside sales from an art form to a science,” Vilner added. “By doing so we can remove the guesswork from the methods in which tech companies are currently selling their products, mostly relying on human touch and personal talent of salespeople. By fully automating the process, sales teams will be equipped to perform exponentially better, with minimal effort and at a much higher conversion rate.”
And what about Tiplati. The name is the Hebrew word meaning “I handled it.” The company offers a platform for automated global payments. By automating the whole payables process, the company states, it modernizes an archaic practice within the business world.
Tipalti’s technology is aimed at finance leaders at high-velocity, fast-scaling companies that have historically tried to solve their financial operations challenges by increasing AP headcount alongside disparate, limited point solutions.
“Accounts payable is the last area that companies in the mid market would want to invest in,” said founder and CEO Chen Amit, speaking to me from Israel, where the company was founded (it is now headquartered in San Mateo). “They will invest in literally anything else other than building software to pay or manage suppliers.”
“This new round of investment will allow us to further accelerate our innovation edge as a leader in the payables automation space and expands our solution to the larger market. Tipalti is clearly needed and this enables us to be ready for all that demand.”
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to increase our investment in Tipalti during a time in which organizations have been focused on rapidly transforming and modernizing the way they operate,” said Dick Costolo, Founding Partner of 01 Advisors and former Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, in a statement. “When I ran Twitter, I saw first-hand the importance and value of Tipalti in automating financial operations. Tipalti transformed our processes and opened up our expansion, growth, and scalability strategies.”