Blockchain is by no means a technology guaranteed to positively disrupt the financial services market. That hasn’t stopped companies large and small from banking on the innovation, however. This week, venture capitalists and other investors opened their wallets to two blockchain startups: one that uses blockchain for accounts payable and accounts receivable solutions, and the other that uses it for back-office operations, like accounting and claims management, of insurance companies. Check out the two blockchain B2B FinTechs that scored new funding below, plus two other firms that landed their own fresh funding rounds.
PayStand scored another win for B2B payments venture capital with the announcement of a $6 million Series A funding round. The company said Wednesday (Nov. 15) that BlueRun Ventures led the investment, while Cervin Ventures, Serra Ventures, TiE and Capital for Founders also participated. In announcing the funding, Jeremy Almond, CEO and founder of PayStand, noted that B2B payments must detach from paper checks and spreadsheets, arguing that blockchain is the technology that can help with that shift.
The investment will fuel expansion of PayStand’s existing accounts receivable solution. In addition to the new funding, the company also announced the beta launch of its accounts payable platform. The solutions are able to integrate into existing apps, websites and invoices to facilitate streamlined B2B transactions via card, ACH and eCheck.
Speaking of blockchain, another distributed ledger startup, ChainThat, secured its own backing in the form of what it describes as a Series A equity investment by insurance consulting firm Xceedance. The U.K.-based startup deploys blockchain technology to help insurance companies manage back-office functions, from accounting, billing and collections to claims management. It also offers reporting and real-time data analytics, the company noted. According to reports this week, working with Xceedance will enable ChainThat to collaborate on additional blockchain-based products for the insurance market, with Xceedance CEO Arun Balakrishnan describing their relationship as a “strategic alliance,” according to reports in Insurance Journal.
Supply Chain Management
With $11.75 million in Series A funding, France’s Shippeo said it will focus on further development of its supply chain visibility platform. The company announced the funding this week and said it was led by Partech Ventures and Otium Venture, according to EU-Startups reports. Shippeo provides European companies with visibility into their supply chains, targeting manufacturers and retailers with digitized freight solutions. Players within supply chains, meanwhile, can communicate more seamlessly with their own corporate companies, and carriers get looped into transport management systems of their clients. The company plans to use the funding to expand across Europe, especially in its home market of France, and to develop new interfaces for logistics companies and corporates. Shippeo said it also plans to expand its staff and focus on global growth, with plans to enter the German market next year.
U.S.-based Lessonly provides software focused on educating team members within the enterprise, and this week the company secured an $8 million Series B funding round led by OpenView. High Alpha Capital and Rethink Education also participated, according to VentureBeat reports. Lessonly counts Birchbox and Stripe among its corporate clients that use the firm’s software to create custom lesson plans for employees in areas like sales and customer service. The firm told reporters it plans to use the latest funding to further develop its software offering and to work with existing customers as employees practice the skills learned through Lessonly lessons.