B2B Payments

B2B FinTechs On A Bumpy Road To 2017


A new year, a fresh start. Or, for some B2B FinTech firms, an opportunity to turn things around. PYMNTS has the latest on the performance of the leading B2B FinTech startups across alternative lending, procure-to-pay and more, and not everyone is closing out the year on a high note.

Staff cuts at Basware, underperformances from Bizfi and Prosper, name changes and leadership overhauls are making for a rocky market. But the news isn't all bad, as a few players revealed much-needed growth in recent months. Take a look at where your favorite B2B FinTech companies stand as 2017 approaches.



Alternative SME lender Bizfi released some statistics about its third quarter performance, and the figures are a bit down from the previous quarter.

The company said Tuesday (Nov. 15) that it facilitated more than $127 million in SME loans in Q3 2016, down from $144 million in Q2. But the company didn't dwell on the slump. Instead, Bizfi released some deeper insight into who's borrowing and where.

According to the firm, manufacturing companies are at the top of the list, seeing funding double in the quarter. B2B companies saw a 15 percent increase in their funding, while B2C companies, like cleaning and daycare, saw a 23 percent rise.

In terms of geography, Michigan businesses saw the largest increase in their search for financing from the platform, followed by Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York and Texas companies. According to Bizfi CEO John Donovan, the figures for the quarter are in line with its previously released Small Business Growth Survey, which found that SMEs are looking to invest in their operations as the market approaches 2017.



Bad news for the procure-to-pay firm: Basware announced Tuesday that it will likely be cutting some of its staff. At the end of last month, the company had 1,881 employees but will look to save up to $8.5 million by cutting 130 of its staff across the globe. But there may be more staff reductions ahead, specifically in Finland, Belgium and other areas, the company said.

"Basware's vision ... on the significant future potential of our markets and our ability to capture that opportunity is unchanged," assured Basware CEO Vesa Tykkyläinen in a statement. "However, what is required now is more focus on execution and customers. As a result of these necessary actions, some of which are difficult, Basware will become more lean and productive and target[ed] and customer-focused."



What's in a name? Fluent is no longer, announcing that, as of Nov. 17, the company will now be known as Hijro. The blockchain B2B payments firm is changing its name a few months after a $1.65 million funding round.



Prosper Marketplace CEO Aaron Vermut announced he is stepping down from the position as of December, while David Kimball, the firm's existing CFO, will take his place. Vermut had been in the position for more than two years after joining the firm as president in 2013. The marketplace lender has been struggling this year with a $53.1 million net loss in the first half of 2016, nearly four times the net loss recorded during the same period of 2015. Vermut ditched his salary as a result, while Prosper cut 28 percent of its staff. Prosper's most recent financial report, for Oct. 2016, fell shy of its Q3 2016 projections, the company said last month.


Aztec Exchange

Invoice financing firm Aztec Exchange didn't offer much insight into its financial performance, but it did reveal this week that it has been named to Forbes' Fintech 50 list, a compilation of top disruptive technology firms in the financial sector. It was one of 22 new companies to join the list, it said. The Forbes listing follows two major partnerships announced in the third quarter, one with Gosocket to provide invoice financing with ePayMe across Latin America and one with Grupo SERES to enter the Spanish market.


Funding Invoice

Funding Invoice does exactly just that — funds invoices. The SME alternative lender has now been in operation for a full year and revealed this week that, during that time, It has facilitated about $7.45 million in small business loans through its platform.

During its first year, Funding Invoice also expanded its staff, the company said, while enabling a 24-hour invoice payment timeframe, which it claims is 98 percent faster than the time it takes for SMEs in the U.K. to receive an invoice payment. In a statement, CEO Aamar Aslam said these statistics enable Funding Invoice to rival traditional banks, even as the alternative lending industry continues to grow.



For the fifth year in a row, B2B payments company Payoneer has landed on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, a list of the fastest-growing tech firms across North America. Payoneer announced the news Wednesday (Nov. 16). It's unclear just how quickly the company is growing, but this quarter, the firm enjoyed a fresh round of funding. Technology Crossover Ventures led a $180 million Series E funding round for the firm in October, one of the largest of the year for B2B FinTech startups.



Cross-border B2B payments company PayCommerce is gearing up to host its Annual Global Customer Conference this week, and ahead of the event, the firm revealed that it has achieved 10 percent growth in its bank network membership. PayCommerce's network of banks now includes 95 FIs across 75 nations, the company said Wednesday, with CBW Bank, Kumari Bank, IndusInd Bank and other FIs across Asia becoming the latest additions.



U.K. eInvoicing company Tungsten said this week that its Tungsten Bank assets have been sold to Wyelands Holdings Limited. While the company didn't announce the exact price of the deal when it revealed the buyer Wednesday, previous reports said the sale reached $45 million. Tungsten revealed nearly a year ago that it would divest its bank, which was used to finance supply chain loans to its SME clients. Tungsten Corp. is scheduled to hold its interim FY2017 earnings call next month, so the market still needs to wait a few weeks to see how the Tungsten Bank sale will impact the firm's figures.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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