B2B Payments

India’s VCs End The Year On A High Note

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India had a busy year when it came to B2B venture capitalists, so it’s appropriate the nation would lead some of the final VC roundups of 2015. This week, B2B eCommerce led India’s VCs interests, but there was another nation that made a rare appearance this week, too.

Industrybuying.com, a B2B eCommerce platform, nabbed fresh funding this week when Monday (Dec. 21) reports revealed that Murugappa and TVS Families backed the company, though the parties didn’t disclose how much Industrybuying raised. The funding follows only a few months after Industrybuying secured $9 million in Series B investments last September.

Reports said Industrybuying will use the support to further develop the site and expand across India, eventually exploring how to provide a full suite of digital services to the B2B brands using the portal.

“Our focus is to build a scaled and profitable business,” stated Industrybuying Cofounder Swati Gupta. “We are relentlessly working towards creating a robust technology backend and a large ecosystem of vendors to help eliminate the pain points of buyers.”

Reports added that Industrybuying’s latest fundraising from a family office underscores a trend of family-owned businesses entering the investment and venture capital space in the nation.

Just one day later, another India-based B2B eCommerce site, Shotang, secured its own backing from venture capitalists to the tune of $5 million. Exfinity Venture Partners and Unitus Impact led the round, reports said, which will be geared towards improving Shotang’s technology.

The funding follows seed funding provided by Bitchemy Ventures, though that investment was for an undisclosed amount.

Reports said Shotang allows businesses to place their orders and make payments to sellers through a single platform, while offering its own delivery service for buyers.

“Our primary categories are mobiles and apparel,” stated Anish Basu Roy, cofounder and chief enabling officer of the site. “We work on commissions paid by distributors per transaction.”

Looking ahead, Shotang said it will be working to implement data analytics into its portal to provide inventory insight to manufacturers and suppliers.

India will surely continue to be a hotspot for B2B venture capital in 2016, especially if Unicorn India Ventures is any sign. The VC fund, which focuses on B2B startups, revealed only days ago that it has chosen four startups for its first fund worth nearly $800,000. Among those startups, reports said, is a cloud operator, and the fund has previously told reporters that it would be eyeing Internet of Things and FinTech startups.

“We believe the next disruption will come from the financial services space and may close one in the IoT in the next couple of months,” said Managing Partner Anil Joshi to reporters, adding that the second fund could close sometime in mid-2018.

For India, 2015 was an exciting year in B2B venture capital, largely in the B2B eCommerce and logistics space. With new funds popping up, there is sure to be more action in the country in 2016.

But this week, India wasn’t the only nation that made the scoreboard in B2B venture funding. In Italy, alternative small business lender BorsadelCredito secured more than $1 million in venture capital from P101, reports said Tuesday (Dec. 22). The company first launched as a digital brokerage platform but snagged a license from the Bank of Italy to begin its P2P lending platform. The company said it can hand SMEs working capital within three days.

Will 2016 be a busy year for Italian B2B venture capitalists? Is this funding a sign of a new SME alt-lending hotspot? We can only wait and see.

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