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B2B Investors Go Big For Autonomous Fleet

B2B VC investment

The freight payments space may be exploring how autonomous and connected vehicles could promote payments automation for fleets, but investors today are hoping to start with just getting those autonomous vehicles on the road, first. This week, the largest funding round went to a B2B startup developing autonomous trucking technology to boost fleet efficiency, with other rounds landing at small business bookkeeping, workforce communications, and IBAN fraud mitigation startups for a combined $236 million-plus landing at B2B startups.

Yelo

India neobank Yelo did not reveal how much it raised in new funding this week, though reports in The Hindu Business Line said the mobile-first FinTech secured seed investment from Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network India and Flourish, while existing backer Better Capital also participated. Yelo’s range of financial services includes cash flow management and remittance services, with efforts to personalize its services for a range of verticals and customer segments, including professionals in the manufacturing and construction space, farmers, and gig economy professionals. With the new funding, Yelo said it will further round out its product offering to include payments, banking, financing and insurance, reports said.

Trustpair

France’s Trustpair is combatting international bank account number (IBAN) fraud with its technology designed for corporate finance teams, allowing users to audit their supplier base and verify vendor payment files. Reports in EU-Startups this week said Trustpair raised $4.98 million for its technology from Breega and existing backer Axeleo Capital. The 2-year-old company currently counts more than 30 corporates as users of its solution, which aims to accelerate finance departments’ digital transformation efforts, the company said. The new funding will support Trustpair’s efforts to double in size over the next year, with hiring to be focused on its R&D, sales, marketing, and account management teams.

Beekeeper

Announced via press release this week, the $45 million raised by U.S.-based Beekeeper will go towards the B2B communication startup’s expansion of its platform designed to help non-desk workforces stay connected with their teams. The Series B round was led by Thayer Ventures and Swisscanto Invest, while previous investors also participated, including Atomico, Alpana Ventures, Edenred Capital Partners, Fyrfly, Hammer Team, investiere, HighSage Ventures, Keen Venture Partners, Samsung NEXT, Swiss Post and Swisscom. Beekeeper said its technology targets companies with more than half of its workforce not connected to company devices or email, connecting these professionals for greater efficiency and productivity.

OkCredit

Small business bookkeeping FinTech OkCredit, based in India, announced a $67 million fundraise this week, according to the Times of India, with the Series B round led by existing backers Lightspeed India and Tiger Global. The company enables small and medium-sized businesses to automate bookkeeping via mobile app, offering users transaction alerts, collection reminders, sales tracking and other features to help firms manage growth and finances. Now, with a total of more than $83 million raised, OkCredit will focus on expanding its customer base and growing out its team as it strengthens its position within India, the company said.

TuSimple

Leading this week’s B2B venture capital roundup is TuSimple, a U.S. startup developing self-driving trucking technology for fleets. The company secured an additional $120 million of its oversubscribed round, with the latest funding coming from China’s CDH Investments, Hong Kong’s Lavender Hill Capital and Korea’s Mando Corp. Previous investors include UPS Ventures, with reports noting TuSimple’s current collaboration with UPS to retrofit trucks with autonomous driving technology and test those vehicles on business highways for UPS’s supply chain operations. Reports said TuSimple plans to use the investment to continue its focus on piloting its technology via retrofitting standard trucks, while also collaborating with fleet industry partners to further develop its proprietary autonomous truck, with the aim of having that self-driving truck on the road by 2023.

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