B2B payments is a space with many layers on top of the actual payment taking place: invoicing, purchase orders, reconciliation, payment technologies, accounts payable and receivable, accounting, cash flow management and the buying process, to name just a few.
So, while it’s commendable when venture capital reaches startups that operate within any one of these niche spaces, rarely does venture capital land in the hands of a business focused on the payment aspect of B2B payments.
Luckily, StoneEagle bucked that trend this week, taking home $76 million from FTV Capital in the most high-profile investment of our B2B venture capital roundup this week.
“While many B2C businesses have reaped the benefit of innovative new payments technologies, the B2B payments landscape remains decades behind, mired in paper and manual processes,” StoneEagle and FTV Capital said in a joint release on Wednesday (Feb. 17).
StoneEagle, which focuses its B2B payments services within the insurance sector, said it will use the funding to grow its business, strengthen its technology and tighten relationships with existing customers.
Could this be a sign of more money to come for B2B payments startups? Could this perhaps encourage innovators, knowing that VCs are interested in this space?
Only time will tell. Until then, we look at the other fundraising deals secured by B2B startups this week.
No surprise here: India landed on this week’s list, yet again; this time, thanks to B2B eCommerce site Shopkirana. The online platform gears itself towards SMEs and raised new financing from former Samsung executive Atul Jain and the founder of HolaChef, Anil Gelra, according to reports last Friday (Feb. 12).
Shopkirana did not disclose how much it raised but did tell reporters that the funding will be used to enhance the technology on which its platform operates. The company also plans to enter new markets within India. The startup not only links retailers to brands but facilitates the payments and logistics aspects of these transactions, too.
Yet another funding round reached an Indian startup. Reports on Thursday (Feb. 18) said CareOnGo secured $300,000 in seed funding. The company provides a mobile network of local pharmacies to allow these businesses to procure medicine from each other.
On top of allowing individuals to purchase medicine, the app lets the pharmacies themselves manage their inventory and assess purchase patterns to make their procurement processes as efficient as possible.
The financing was provided by Farooq Oomerbhoy, cofounder of Orios Venture Partners, Raj Mishra of Indea Capital and Vineet Ganesh of Imperial India Investment, reports said. CareOnGo said it would use the backing to enhance its technology and boost brand awareness.
Score one for accounts receivables solutions. Recurring billing and revenue firm Aria announced Thursday (Feb. 18) that it nabbed $50 million in venture capital through a round led by Bain Capital Ventures, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, Venrock and VMware.
The list of backers went on to include several new supporters of the company, including Rembrandt Venture Partners, Madison Bay Capital Partners and Hercules Technology Growth Capital, according to reports.
Aria specializes in helping businesses adopt recurring revenue models by easing friction in the billing process. As a cloud-based solutions provider, the startup streamlines AR processes for companies that offer recurring products or services to their clients. According to reports, clients like Roku and Zipcar are already using the offerings.
Growth Outside Of Venture Capital
It’s not just venture capitalists that are seemingly acting on their interests in the B2B payments space this week. Over in the U.K., startup Kwanji signaled support from individual investors, too, when the cross-border SME payments company announced a massive fundraising round via crowdfunding site SyndicateRoom.
The company had initially set a target of about $575,000; instead, Kwanji surpassed its goals and secured more than $710,000.
According to reports, Kwanji will use the funding to expand into new markets. It recently launched in Kenya to bring SMEs access to more affordable foreign exchange rates, and the firm said it will look to expand throughout East Africa, Latin America and Asia.
“The West is in the midst of a revolution in forex delivery, yet there’s been little to no crossover for those in the emerging markets,” said Kwanji CEO and Founder Leslie Onyesoh. “Many investors on SyndicateRoom had firsthand experience of this pain, which quickly validated our proposition for delivering optimized and equitable FX pricing direct to businesses in the emerging markets.”