After a string of profitable weeks for B2B startups, it seems the streak has finally come to an end. Over the last seven days, the investment space for B2B FinTech and services was quiet, with just three deals totaling $15 million.
Coincidentally, reports this week from Breitbart raised yet another round of doubt regarding the sustainability of the unicorn — what the site now calls “unicorpses” — as tech IPOs slow down. Citing analysis from mattermark, across eCommerce, consumer and B2B technology startups, business value dropped significantly as compared to their first-day closing price at market debut. The B2B segment, for instance, saw an average value drop of 28.9 percent as of early 2016.
There have been some questions as to whether the recent attention FinTech disruptors have paid to the world of B2B is coming at the wrong time, with venture capitalists tightening their belts and growing ever more weary of underperforming startups.
Luckily, in the world of B2B, investment didn’t run entirely dry. Below are the three funding rounds that helped B2B service providers in the world of FinTech and FinServ that managed to scrape up some cash.
Salesforce Ventures threw its support behind France’s Augment, an augmented reality startup that has some intriguing services for enterprise clients. According to reports on Wednesday (March 2), the company raised more than $3 million, a move that sees Augment integrate its solution into the Salesforce ERP software. Reports said Augment can help its business clients handle product placement by visualizing displays. It can also help B2B transactions by allowing a brand representative to provide a potential buyer with a visual of what a product and its display would look like before making an actual purchase.
An integration into the Salesforce1 mobile app means an even deeper integration into the world of B2B procurement.
“During presentations, users across various industries can now capture augmented reality simulations of their 3D product models, which are automatically attached and synced to the related opportunity,” the company said in a press release. “This enables teams to better communicate product placements with customers, shortening the sales cycle and optimizing productivity.”
Investors in India provided $1 million to Imarticus Learning, a company that helps financial services firms educate their employees through certified courses. Funding was led by Blinc Advisors, according to reports. The company, which announced the funding on Thursday (March 3), services the FinServ, business analytics and wealth management industries and has already worked with 150 firms in the nation, reports said. With the new funding, Imarticus Learning said it will eye expansion into the UAE, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Also on Thursday, Los Angeles’ Oro secured $12 million, thanks to investors at Highland Europe. Reports said the funding will be used to propel Oro’s service, which links B2B eCommerce and CRM businesses with an open-source business platform. In its announcement, Oro pointed to the ability to help omnichannel B2B businesses more adequately serve their clients via the OroCRM product, its flagship service.
Last year, Oro rolled out OroCommerce, a B2B eCommerce software service that helps suppliers and vendors tailor their sales efforts to a more targeted audience; the platform offers marketing tools and personalization capabilities, reports said.
According to Oro, the new funding will be used to continue to develop these two tools and reach new clients across the globe.