The B2B startup space is living up to its newfound reputation as an attractive target for venture capitalists. There are a million ways (or more) that startups can target other companies. Some focus on specific verticals, like restaurants; Some take unique routes to enterprise security, from password management to email protection.
Whether it’s a corporate carpooling service that offers a cheaper alternative to Uber or using Big Data to heighten the ROI on hiring efforts, the B2B startups that earned VC this week all impact their corporate customers' bottom lines in one way or another.
But only a select few provide direct financial services to their fellow businesses. Take a look at where the more than $166 million in funding landed his week.
The B2B venture capital roundup this week is flush with startups providing services to other corporates that, in one way or another, impact the business' bottom line. But only a few startups this week offer companies a direct financial service.
Konfio is one of them. The Mexico-based online lending platform revealed an $8 million Series A funding round this week, a move that will help the company as it looks to strengthen Latin America's SME finance game. Konfio links microbusinesses in the region to financing.
The funding was led by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, with participation from Quona Capital, QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures and Jaguar Ventures, reports said. The company explained that it integrates Big Data analytics and traditional financial assessment strategies to provide financing to entrepreneurs and small businesses that are underserved by traditional banks.
Another anomaly on this week's roundup is the presence of a startup from Tunisia. Expensya provides expense management and accounting solutions for corporates to manage their online, mobile and cloud-based data. The company announced a seed funding round led by local and French backers.
While the amount of the funding was not disclosed, the company said it was an "average" sized funding round for France; reports pegged this at around $560,000.
Expensya first launched a year ago to provide businesses with a way to take a picture of a physical receipt and digitize that information for accounting and expensing purposes. Today, the company has expanded its solution to include digital invoice processing and management of mileage expenses. With heightened data capture capabilities, Expensya said that it has also enhanced data analytics and integration tools for SMEs.
Financial Advisory Services
A $40 million funding round will boost SigFig, a startup that develops financial advisory technology for investors and banks. According to the firm, the latest investment, led by Santander InnoVentures, UBS, Eaton Vance and New York Life, will help SigFig connect with top financial institutions who are strategically placed to link investors with SigFig's services.
According to the firm, the backing will be used to enhance back-end systems. Chief Executive Michael Sha told reporters last week that while it does provide a direct asset management solution, it will focus on developing its technology for other financial services companies.
It's tricky for anyone to manage all of their passwords, but for the enterprise, failing to safeguard credentials can have massive implications, both for the company and its customers.
The funding will help strengthen Agari's Email Trust Platform, which focuses on securing corporate email accounts. In a statement, the company pointed to the ongoing challenges for corporations to keep their email accounts secure, despite the massive influx of cybersecurity technology and services.
The funding coincided with a separate funding round, to the tune of $10 million, for another B2B startup focusing on corporate email. Front announced its new support to help businesses manage and streamline email communication, both internally and externally.
The firm provides password management solutions for users that have various profiles and accounts across websites and across devices, and it's becoming an increasing challenge for the corporate world, too. The company told reporters that some of its most recent deals have been with major financial institutions, signaling a new interest in corporate security.
"We are seeing a lot of appetite for enterprise versions of what we are building," said Dashlane CEO Emmanuel Schalit. "We will have more partnerships with banks to help with services like fraud and online payment protection."
Similar to Dashlane, BigID provides businesses with a way to safeguard their clients' credentials. The startup, which raised $2.1 million, reports said this week, provides Software-as-a-Service to corporations to safeguard and manage customer data. The firm pegs itself as a preventative solution for companies.
Southeast Asia landed on the B2B venture capital board this week thanks to Jirnexu, which provides financial institutions with technology to manage back-office functions, like customer acquisition and loyalty programs.
The startup said on Tuesday that it raised $3 million from DMP. The Series A funding round also saw participation from Celebes Capital, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Nullabor, Tuas Capital Partners and Anfield Equities, reports said. Jirnexu said it will use the funds to expand across Southeast Asia, especially within Malaysia and Indonesia.
With seed funding in hand, U.S.-based Eyenalyze will look to expand its presence in the back office of restaurants. The startup announced on Wednesday (May 25) that it had completed a funding round led by Cadron Creek Capital, reports said.
Eyenalyze provides a back-office solution for restaurant owners and managers to manage inventory, employees and other industry-specific costs, like plating, the firm said. Its platform integrates data flowing in from companies' supplier and vendor dealings, POS terminals, payroll, commercial card spend and banking via a patent-pending API.
The startup did not reveal how much it raised, however.
Entelo is a startup that focuses on enterprise recruiting and talent management, providing solutions to corporations via its data-driven recruiting services. Also on Wednesday, the company reported a $12 million Series B funding round as investors backed the company's focus.
According to Entelo, helping companies manage their recruiting and staff is becoming a more data-driven area of focus; the company uses machine learning and other data-based technologies to aid hiring managers in their search for new workers.
For the small and medium-sized enterprise, tax returns are a pain, but noncompliance could cost them big. Reports this week said ClearTax, based in India, raised $2 million for its digital tax filing solution geared towards both consumers and SMEs.
The company announced that its pre-Series A funding was led by Founders Fund Angel and Sequoia Capital and marks the second funding round for the company this year. It also launched a mobile app for its tax filing solution this year, according to reports.
According to reports by VentureBeat, venture capitalists have provided about $10 billion for B2B sales solutions startups in just the last three years. The latest startup to join the pot is Seismic, which announced on Thursday (May 26) a $40 million funding round.
The Series C backing was led by General Atlantic, reports said, and will be used to provide corporate marketing teams the resources needed to make the sale at the right time and to bridge the gap between sales and marketing efforts.
Uber and Lyft may both be strengthening their presence in the corporate travel space, but one startup is looking to tackle business road travel in another way. Scoop, which announced a $5.1 million funding round this week, provides companies with a carpooling service so employees can get to and from work.
Signia Venture Partners led the round, according to reports, which also saw participation from Index Ventures, BMW i Ventures and Workday Corporate Ventures. Scoop provides pre-scheduled trips for employees to choose from, while its back-end technology calculates the most efficient route. According to Scoop, it is hyperfocused on this type of corporate travel and said it can compete against other ridesharing solutions because it's cheaper.