There wasn’t exactly an avalanche of venture capitalist funding deals this week in the world of B2B, but even so, a string of M&A activity fueled the market to more than $9.8 billion in investment. Here’s what happened: After a bout of absence, alternative lending got back on the scoreboard with the week’s largest direct investment by venture capitalists. B2B eCommerce saw the most activity (with an additional $40 million worth of fund raising in the works), but a single deal in the corporate financial services sector knocked the competition out of the park, making up more than 90 percent of all investment funds for the week. Want the details? Keep reading.
B2B eCommerce: $705M
Corporate FinServ: $9.1B
Alt-Lending - $40M
After a few weeks of noticeable absence, alternative lending landed back on the B2B investment board. Invoice financing firm C2FO received the week’s largest direct investment by venture capitalists with news Tuesday (Aug. 11) that Singapore-based Temasek Holdings and other backers provided $40 million in funding to the business lender. The company is reportedly on track to process more than $1 billion worth of invoices every week, and VCs seem to have confidence in C2FO achieving that goal. Other existing investors backing the firm include Tiger Global, Union Square Ventures, and OPENAIR Equity Partners, reports said.
“Our recent funding round led by Temasek is a strong vote of confidence that C2FO has established the leading global business network for working capital,” said C2FO Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Kemper in a statement. “Temasek’s market knowledge and relationships in emerging markets will help C2FO capitalize on the international demand for more effective capital solutions and continue to accelerate our rapid pace of innovation.”
B2B eCommerce - $705M (with more on the way)
As B2B eCommerce heats up and new players enter the market, existing competitors are strengthening their competitive edge through consolidation. Cloud technology firm Infor revealed Tuesday that it reached a deal to acquire cloud-based eCommerce-as-a-Service company GT Nexus for $675 million. The merger between the companies will be a significant boost to their B2B eCommerce efforts as GT Nexus has largely focused on supporting the manufacturing and logistics companies to help them launch eCommerce ventures. “Infor is a great home for GT Nexus, and we’re excited to join forces with a company with a strong manufacturing, retail and supply chain pedigree,” said GT Nexus CEO Sean Feeney. Reports said that Infor will benefit from GT Nexus’s existing knowledge of supply chain management in the cloud, and Infor CEO Charles Phillips said that the buyout “will provide customers with unprecedented visibility into their supply chains to manage production and monitor goods in transit and at rest.”
Wednesday (Aug. 12) followed with the news that e-invoicing and procurement service provider Tradeshift is looking to strengthen its eCommerce-as-a-Service offerings through the $30 million acquisition of product information management company Merchantry. According to recent research by Acquity Group, nearly 70 percent of B2B online shoppers ditched their digital shopping carts because the eCommerce experience didn’t meet their expectations – in many cases, because there was insufficient information about the products they were looking to procure. Tradeshift’s Merchantry acquisition will help ease suppliers’ online migration by providing them with resources to manage their digital inventories through the Tradeshift platform.
Looking ahead, venture capitalists are also reportedly poised to provide $10 million in Series A funding to India-based B2B eCommerce site Zoffio.com, which specializes in office supplies, though an official investment has not yet been made. According to Thursday (Aug. 12) reports, Zoffio co-founders Abhishek Kamani and Bobby Kamani said they are looking to step up their game as other B2B eCommerce leaders like Amazon and Staples ramp up their own activities in the country. Reports said Veda Capital Advisors is set to provide the backing, though the group did not provide further details on the investment.
An additional $30 million could be on the way for the B2B eCommerce sector as Thursday reports also said Thailand’s eCommerce-as-a-Service firm aCommerce is looking to raise $30 million in Series B funding by the end of the year as the company seeks support from backers across Southeast Asia. aCommerce Chief Executive Paul Srivorakul told reporters that the funding is necessary to compete in an expanding market as the region embraces new players.
Corporate FinServ - $9.1B
The corporate banking sector knocked the competition out of the park with a $5.1 billion takeover deal announced Wednesday – a deal with a price tag that balloons to $9.1 billion with net debt. Banking and payments firm Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) announced plans to buy financial software company SunGard, which had been preparing for an initial public offering sometime later this year. The merger, which is set to close by the end of the year’s fourth quarter, will add SunGard’s financial services to FIS’s existing banking and payments technology offerings. SunGard’s clients include businesses in education and the public sector, as well as FinServ players in need of financial software. FIS, meanwhile, said that it serves more than 14,000 businesses across the globe, providing payment processing, banking and software solutions.