The latest analysis from Forbes confirms what the industry has felt in recent months: B2B FinTech investment is growing. Reports Thursday (June 1) said venture capitalists are paying closer attention to the B2B side of FinTech with a particular focus on supply chain and supplier finance, B2B software, and solutions that hit both the AR and AP side of transactions.
B2B payments “is such a big opportunity, and yet everybody is talking about digital wallets and retail payments,” said Bain Capital Ventures Managing Director Matt Harris in an interview with Forbes. “My view is that there are so many more unsolved problems in B2B payments.”
Analysts estimate B2B payments account for about $250 billion worth of the $1.8 trillion in payments made globally every year, and that's on the rise, according to McKinsey & Co. data.
It's not an easy market to break into, reports noted, but the effort could prove lucrative. This week showcases how the B2B FinTech startup space is going strong with efforts to grab more investment. Interestingly, though, the U.S. was notably absent from the lineup, while investors seemed to be zeroed-in on just two niches: T&E, and SME accounting.
India's Tripeur, operated by Shorebird Technologies, raised new seed funding from Grace Grace Techno Ventures LLP, according to a recent announcement. Tripeur didn't reveal exactly how much it raised, though it did note that several other investors participated in the seed round, and that the funds will go toward product development, sales and marketing. The company positions itself not just as a travel expense management solution, but as a more holistic Travel ERP tool, including travel booking and expense management, approvals, policy compliance and more. According to Tripeur, it aims to help businesses and managers understand their corporate travel spend and how they can optimize it.
Here's something you don't see in every B2B venture capital roundup: this startup from Tunisia landed fresh funding for its technology that helps businesses streamline expense management. Expensya announced $1.1 million in venture capital raised from private investors. The funds will go towards R&D, expanded sales teams and international expansion, it said. Expensya focuses on small businesses that are on-the-go and need a similarly flexible travel and expense management solution. Using machine learning and scanning technology, the company processes expense reports for reconciliation and spend analysis.
Targeting the SME accountants themselves, Practice Ignition provides cloud-based software that automates basic tasks. Based in Australia, the company operates in a competitive market, but investors have just provided $5 million to the company, with the Series A funding led by Microequities Venture Capital Fund. Black Sheep Capital, Right Click Capital and existing backers also participated, the company revealed this week. According to founder and Chief Executive Guy Pearson, the funds will go toward expanding into new markets – including the U.S., U.K. and Canada – and bolstering its team.
With the largest funding round of the week, Canada-based Wave landed $24 million for its small business finance software. Investors at National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Portag3 and Exhibition Capital participated alongside existing investors for the investment, reports said this week. Wave is strengthening its product with a focus in artificial intelligence and machine learning in an effort to provide deeper insights to its small business users in addition to automating key financial management functions. While the company recently told PYMNTS that it will also use the funds to develop its own new features for the platform – an effort to link all of these services into a single portal instead of forcing SMEs to interconnect their various financial service providers' offerings – Wave also partners with companies that can bolster its offering. Most recently the company linked with OnDeck to provide a financing feature from within the Wave platform for small business clients.