Sydney startup enters capture market

A small team of developers and data scientists based in Sydney is seeking to disrupt the enterprise capture market with a cloud-based machine learning platform and Google Vision OCR.

Sypht has established a proprietary SaaS platform on the Amazon Cloud that uses computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing to pull apart and reconstitute the largely unstructured data in bills, receipts, invoices, & identity documents such as payslips, passports and drivers’ licenses along with generic extraction from any document, with more extraction capability in the pipeline to come.

Established in 2018, Sypht is part of the BPAY Group in partnership with BCG Digital Ventures a subsidiary of the Boston Consulting Group.

Target applications include accounts payable (invoice and receipt digitisation), bill payments, bill comparison and switching for energy and identity verification required for credit & loan applications.

CEO Warren Billington said Sypht already has commercial agreements in place providing a number of proof of concept trials with major clients in Australia and overseas and ongoing subscription services at large commercial scale.

“So, we’re very much in production,” said Billington.

“I think we’ve started to really prove that the original hypothesis was right, that there is a need to apply a different approach to document extraction and data extraction using machine learning.”

More than 45,000 businesses in Australia are registered as BPAY billers, and these bills are generally provided as paper or PDF documents. As each business has the ability to customise their bill, there is no standard template, which illustrates the challenge in using template-based data extraction.

In contrast to traditional template driven extraction systems, Sypht employs a machine-learning approach that allows Sypht to extract data at high speed and accuracy across a diversity of documents.

Sypht was born out of a process which began in early 2018 when the BPAY Group partnered with BCG Digital Ventures, to develop some concepts for new businesses aligned with the core strengths of BPAY Group. Out of a large number of initial concepts, only two were selected to the final seed funding stage, Sypht and Lodge. Lodge is an online platform for landlords and property investors allowing them to self-manage rental.

“There is such a strong focus for a lot of enterprises around understanding their digital transformation journeys and documentation is still a major impediment to that transformation.  Manual processing of documentation is still very time consuming and in addition to the cost impact it is prone to error,” said Billington.

“But also, the main focus for us is not just about back-end process automation and driving efficiency there, it's also the impact that this can have on customer experience.  For example, if you're applying for a loan or going through an insurance claim process, or anything of that nature that requires the upload of what inherently is not one document but multiple, different document types, it’s a long and tedious process.

“Firstly, you have to find them and they’re often in different formats quite often.  You then have to send those through manually.  It's not a particularly great experience and takes a lot of time.  Being able to automate that process and reduce the friction, both from an organisation perspective, and from a customer perspective, is going to have a major impact on the overall experience of the organisation and the overall experience of the customer.  That then starts to have an impact on the brands that are adopting these types of technologies.  It's going to give them an edge and differentiation against their competitors. 

“Therefore, from our perspective, this isn't just a cost saving exercise.  It's also an opportunity to be able to provide better experiences, better services, product innovation back to customers.  Which can then drive incremental revenue and drive conversions more strongly based on just a better frictionless experience.”

The core of the Sypht development team, which now numbers over 10, came across from the founding team when the new venture was established. Sypht has also established a self-serve platform that allows potential clients, developers and channel partners to easily sign up and register to test the API at

“The financial services area is certainly the starting point for us on the basis of complex network relationships that we're able to be introduced to through BPAY Group and BCG Digital Ventures globally. Although, we certainly believe there are opportunities to leverage our platform across broader verticals and in other markets on the basis of it being a SaaS based platform,” said Billington

“We are initially working directly with organisations, but I think there are some great opportunities for us to develop a strong partnership network.  I think the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) space overall is attracting a lot of attention and spend as part of overall digital transformation projects. 

“RPA is promoted as a silver bullet to provide every desired outcome around process automation, and I'm clearly hearing in market that that is not the case and enterprises are seeing some significant gaps.  Which is why I think we're starting to see a broader term around intelligent automation incorporating machine learning technologies and capabilities like those Sypht can provide.  So, we see a good opportunity to partner alongside those RPA businesses, and the professional services organisations that support them and we're starting to build some success there,” said Billington.