It isn’t clear whether venture capitalists in the U.S. are shying away from alternative lending startups due to the recent controversy within the space, but investors across the pond aren’t hesitating to finance the industry.
New investment rounds reached from Australia to the U.K. in the alternative SME lending space, while B2B startups from the Netherlands and Spain also secured impressive rounds.
Alas, the funding volumes didn’t come close to those achieved by two U.S. startups, which collectively nabbed $175 million. Find out where the rest of the $19 million in venture capital landed this week and which two U.S. companies came out on top.
Kabbage’s sister firm Down Under secured $1.5 million this week, reports said. Kikka Capital announced the funding from FlexiGroup, telling reporters the new backing will be used to continue expansion throughout Australia (the company provides SME financing through unsecured lines of credit from Kabbage). While announcing the new venture capital, Kikka also revealed the appointment of former Macquarie Capital Executive Director Justin Mannolini to its board of directors, a move that Kikka said demonstrates traditional banking’s confidence in the alternative and marketplace lending space.
The same investor that backed U.K. alternative lending platform ThinCats is at it again. ESF Capital revealed on Thursday (June 9) that it inked a $6.6 million investment deal with another U.K. online lender, Satago. The investment comes in the form of a $4.3 million credit line for the firm and an additional $2.3 million in equity investment.
Reports said Satago became one of the first startups to secure capital through equity crowdfunding in 2012. Now, the firm has secured fresh backing that also includes nearly $800,000 from previous backers.
Fresh with new backing, Satago is poised to launch its finance solution that combines invoice financing with an online credit control service for SMEs, reports added. The firm positions itself as an “all-in-one” cash flow service for small businesses, especially at a time when late payments are straining SMEs.
“Late payments are a perennial issue for SMEs, damaging their finances as a result,” said Satago CEO and Founder Steven Renwick in a statement. “We’re the only finance company that actually tries to improve clients’ financial health before offering them finance, and we’re excited to now offer these capabilities to a much wider audience.”
It may not have the most creative name, but Invoice Finance is winning investor confidence. The company announced on Thursday (June 9) a $3.85 million funding round led by Peak Capital, among other investors. The Dutch company, founded last year, provides an online marketplace where SMEs and entrepreneurs can finance their outstanding invoices; reports said the company does not target a particular vertical for its invoice financing services.
Tradeshift‘s eInvoicing, eProcurement and buyer-supplier relationship management services are far from industry newcomers, as the company counts top names like Microsoft as major partners. Perhaps that’s why venture capitalists pumped an impressive $75 million into the company.
U.S.-based Tradeshift announced the Series D funding round on Thursday (June 9), increasing its total investment funding up to $200 million, according to reports. Data Collective led this round, which also saw participation from HSBC, American Express Ventures, CreditEase and Pavilion Capital.
The latest funding will be used to expand its expense and contract management services that help businesses manage external partners, reports said. The company added that it wants to move into new industries, including receivables management, trade finance, spend management, payments and lending solutions, as well as grow globally.
A $7 million Series A funding round was secured this week by TravelPerk, a corporate travel solutions platform that provides booking, budgeting and spend management solutions to corporate clients. Spark Capital, with existing backers Sunstone Capital and LocalGlobe, spearheaded the funding. The Spain-based company’s CEO and cofounder, Avi Meir, told reporters that his firm wants to tackle the high fees associated with corporate travel booking.
In what was the biggest funding round of the week for B2B startups, Cylance announced a $100 million Series D funding led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Insight Venture Partners. If the hefty investment wasn’t enough, it also placed Cylance into the Unicorn Club, as the firm now has a valuation of $1 billion.
The firm said the funding will be used for marketing and sales initiatives. The company uses Big Data analytics and machine learning to provide its corporate clients with cyberattack defenses. Reports said the company has both government agencies and major corporations on its client list; as it looks to expand, the company said that it will look to add new clients to its customer base, from major financial institutions “to the smallest dental office in Malaysia.”