Another week, another ride on the rollercoaster of B2B investment. The last month or so has seen dramatic rises and falls in the volume of funding given to B2B startups, and while the first week in May yielded half a billion dollars for an array of emerging B2B firms, this week saw a mere $26.8 million in direct fundraising in this segment. While the space was boosted a bit by a new $115 million startup fund that will certainly lead to more backing in the B2B community, on the whole, last week was a bit of a bust.
Over the weekend, India’s first-ever B2B eCommerce site, industrybuying.com, revealed a $15 million investment led by various venture capitalists, including existing financer SAIF partners. According to reports, the B2B eCommerce portal plans to use the funds to expand operations in other jurisdictions and boost its technological infrastructure.
“Though we are currently supplying pan-India, we want to set up our offices in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai immediately,” industrybuying.com co-founder Swati Gupta said, adding that launches in Mumbai and Pune will likely come within the next two months.
This is the second major investment for the company following last December’s $2 million backing in the firm, also led by SAIF Partners.
Just before the work week began, another investment was announced, this time in the U.S. Seattle-based data analytics startup Transpose not only revealed its new name (changed from KustomNote), the firm also reported Sunday (May 10) that it has received $1.5 million from various backers, spearheaded by Founder’s Co-op. The business operates as a Software-as-a-Service firm that analyzes Big Data across an array of devices to aid companies in their data storage and analytics ventures.
According to reports, Transpose aggregates large, unstructured data points from documents, voice recordings and other sources. Originally, the tool was geared toward a customized note-taking service. Today, it has expanded its reach to include inventory management, scheduling mechanisms, or asset tracking, and includes users from Apple and Walmart, to name a few. “Database is one of the most powerful software tools ever created,” Founders Co-op General Partner Chris DeVore said, and Transpose makes this database function available to any business owner.
The third and final investment seen in the last few days within the B2B startup community was also in the U.S. Reports Thursday (May 14) said an array of venture capitalists contributed to $10.25 million in funding for marketing automation tool Kapost, whose Marketing Content Engine service I used from an array of companies including IBM and LinkedIn. Kapost said it will use the funding to develop a holistic consumer content management service to aid businesses in their marketing and content generation efforts. “Content is the backbone of everything marketing does to engage buyers throughout their journey,” Kapost CEO and Co-Founder Toby Murdock told reporters.
The three investments are certainly a far cry from last week’s eight separate fundraising rounds for eight separate companies, ranging from B2B software to financial services and alternative lending. But B2B startup venture capitalists are unpredictable, so while the last seven days were incredibly quiet, the rest of the month could just as easily pick back up again.
A new Silicon Valley-based startup fund offered some hope of an uptick in B2B funding after it revealed last Monday (May 11) that it is securing $115 million for its latest pool. Lightspeed Venture Partners said it will focus the fund on early stage businesses in India, where the investor has been working since 2004. According to reports, the VC fund acknowledges India’s budding startup ecosystem, especially in the B2B Software-as-a-Service industry. According to Lightspeed MD Dev Khare, the Top 30 B2B SaaS firms in India are worth $6 billion today.