B2B FinTech startups came close to hitting the $100 million investment mark this week, with funding rounds in the U.S., India, Australia, Germany, Sweden and the U.K. The most lucrative players are operating in the SME finance space, with a small business banking startup landing more than a quarter of the funding.
The $20 million funding round for Australian alternative lending platform Prospa has set a record, according to reports, as the largest FinTech venture capital funding in the country. The Series B funding was led by AirTree Ventures and saw participation from existing backers, and the funds will be used to continue growth for the company. Prospa is reportedly already working on a new SME invoice financing solution and has several partnerships in play, including one with Xero and with Reckon.
Several backers participated in the $1.2 million funding round for SME lending platform Bitbond, a company based in Germany that, only months ago, secured a license from regulators for its blockchain-based financial service. The latest funding, provided by investor Şekip Can Gökalp, along with several angel investors, will go towards product development and to expand its reach across global markets. Reports said Bitbond has already provided $1.2 million to SME borrowers across 120 countries. The startup connects small businesses with investors to facilitate cross-border financing of SMEs, using blockchain to process the funds transfer.
U.K. challenger bank Monzo, one of the nation's few digital-only banks, raised nearly $25.5 million from investors, reports said this week. The company, which offers both consumer and small business banking services, secured its banking license last year and is readying the rollout of its current account offering. Monzo is currently operating in beta phase, but the latest financing, provided by Thrive Capital, Passion Capital and Orange Digital Ventures, will aid the company as it prepares to launch its full service. Monzo said it is also looking to raise additional funds through a crowdfunding campaign.
This Indian B2B eMarketplace hasn't secured all of the financing it wants yet, but Industrybuying has reportedly raised $10 million from existing backers, including Kalaari Capital, SAIF Partners and Beenext, two unnamed sources told reporters. The company is also said to be hoping to raise $20 million in total, with the remaining $10 million coming from Naspers, reports said. Industrybuying plans to use the latest financing to expand operations and would reportedly value the company at just under $200 million. Industrybuying hasn't confirmed the reports, however.
NYMBUS positions itself directly with financial service providers, offering them technology to help run mission-critical operations. The startup, based in the U.S., just raised $16 million from Home Credit Group, the company revealed this week, with funds helping to fuel its existing expansion plans. According to NYMBUS Executive Chairman Scott Killoh, the company aims to help financial service providers offer more digital solutions to their own customers, while boosting efficiency in the back office, with a particular focus on their clients' core banking platforms.
Travel Expense Management
With Series A funding to the tune of $4 million in hand, Utrip can now invest more heavily in its mobile platform and other IT projects, the company said this week. Utrip, based in the U.S., provides consumer- and corporate-facing travel services by helping users to create travel itineraries. The startup deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning technology and offers its corporate clients a white-label solution. Investors from Plug & Play, Tiempo Capital and Acorn Ventures all participated in the round, reports said.
Soundtrack Your Brand
Soundtrack Your Brand, which operates Spotify's B2B service, just secured $22 million for its solution to help businesses legally play music in their storefronts. The company announced the funding late last week, with investors from Balderton Capital and Industrifonden participating, among others. The Sweden-based startup said it will use the funds to help expand and to focus on inking deals directly with music labels to license more music for its corporate customers.