Derivion Corporation, an innovative new company that is developing a patent-pending Web-based electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service targeted initially at mid-tier utility and telecommunications businesses, has won the support of Atlanta-area high-tech investors.
Entrepreneurs Gregory J. Rable and Andrew Wexler of Atlanta and Dushyant Sharma of Toronto formed Derivion. Based in Atlanta with research and development in Toronto, Derivion’s Web-based system brings together a wide range of services so consumers can easily view and pay bills online.
Consumers will be able to have their bills presented and pay them from a Web-based application through their Web browser. Derivion will initially market the Web service to “mid-tier” billers such as regional electric, gas, water, telecommunications or cable companies.
The initial round of funding was completed last week, said Rable, Derivion’s Chief Executive Officer. The source of the funding is what Rable described as a group of seasoned Atlanta investors.
Among the key investors are Bert Ellis, Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based interactive media company iXL Enterprises. Ellis also is a member of the board of Atlanta-based Internet health care portal WebMD.
Other key investors include Boland T. Jones, Chairman and CEO of Premiere Technologies, and Rex Fuqua, Managing Director of Fuqua Ventures. Both Jones and Fuqua were early financial backers of hot Atlanta Internet companies iXL and WebMD.
Also investing in Derivion are Sergio Zyman, consultant and formerly Chief Marketing Officer for Coca-Cola Co., and Ashish Bahl, Senior Vice President of iXL’s financial services group.
“We’re very excited about the momentum that this first round of investment has given the company and about the caliber of the investors,” Rable said. “We envision 1999 as a positioning year for Derivion, and expect the Year 2000 to be a break out year.”
Ellis, CEO of iXL, noted that, “We think that Web-based EBPP technology is going to be the next wave in the evolution of electronic commerce. Getting in on the ground floor with a company like Derivion is a no-brainer for mid-tier billers and service providers. We think that they will find the cutting-edge, flexible technology on which Derivion’s EBPP product is built very attractive.”
Ellis added that, “iXL plans to incorporate Derivion’s EBPP strategies with some of our major clients.”
Sharma, the Toronto-based President and Chief Information Officer of Derivion, explained that, “The biggest challenge for companies offering EBPP solutions is to integrate them with the billers’ existing systems and processes. Derivion is offering a unique ‘self-learning’ EBPP system, so billers can easily ‘train’ the system to meet their unique requirements for bill presentation. Billers are welcoming this approach.”
There are two primary beneficiaries of the Derivion service. First, there are people who use it to view and pay bills. Second are the companies who will reap a substantial cost reduction for the Web-based service and, at the same time, improve customer service and customer retention, and provide new cross-marketing channels.
“We will provide our mid-tier corporate customers with the most cost-effective, efficient service to serve their customers better, and they will be able to implement the service quickly,” said Rable. “For example, it costs companies up to $2 to deliver a single monthly bill to a customer. We will do the job better on the Internet for less than one-quarter of that, allowing that savings to drop back to the biller’s bottom line.”
Rable and Sharma met while employed by InterTrans, a software company that was acquired in 1998 by i2 Technologies. They recruited Andrew Wexler, an accountant in the Atlanta office of Arthur Andersen, to join them in the venture as Chief Financial Officer.
Joining Ellis, Jones, Fuqua, Zyman and Bahl as members of Derivion’s board of directors are John Collins, Chairman and CEO of the Intercept Group; Rodger Johnson, an Atlanta high-tech veteran and President and CEO of JKC Holdings, and Robert Jetmundsen, Managing Director at Morgan Keegan, Inc.
Derivion’s product incorporates accepted industry standards, including the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) protocol for secure financial transactions.Details