Yet again, the B2B FinTech industry proves it’s quality over quantity when it comes to venture capital.
This week saw just three funding rounds, but two of which were some of the largest the industry has seen in weeks. Accounts receivable company Billtrust landed major bucks, while a cross-border payments startup stayed mum about its own investment. But it was blockchain that turned heads with its record-setting funding. Take a look at the investment breakdown below.
With the second-largest funding of the week, Billtrust landed $50 million for its invoice-to-cash and accounts receivable management solutions. Backers at Riverwood Capital Management led the investment, reports said, with plans to use the funds to grow into new markets and continue product innovation.
“With this new investment, we will look for growth opportunities in current and adjacent markets, continue innovating our Quantum solution to meet expanding client needs, such as credit and collections support, and broader our reach in international markets,” said Billtrust CEO and Founder Flint Lane in a statement.
In another statement, Francisco Alvarez-Demalde, founding partner at Riverwood Capital Management — who will also be joining Billtrust’s board of directors — said the company is an emerging leader in B2B payments.
“We are excited to partner with Billtrust’s entire team in creating an enduring leader in the B2B payment cycle management sector,” Alvarez-Demalde said. “We see a clear long-term secular shift toward process automation software as a strong tailwind for Billtrust to continue delivering on its mission of improving outcomes for AR departments.”
Backers in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Singapore have reportedly placed new investment in Eunimart, an India-based company that helps companies sell across borders. Co-Founder and CMO Saikat Roy wouldn’t disclose how much the company raised, but did tell reporters that the funds will go toward the development of a more automated version of its eCommerce platform. The investment will also help Eunimart in its research and analytics effort to capture global sales data and deploy predictive analytics features using machine learning technology, it said. Specifically, Roy explained, the investment will go toward the creation of a consultancy team to streamline and enhance customer service.
Coming in at the top spot in this week’s B2B venture capital breakdown is R3, a consortium of companies collaborating on and exploring blockchain technology. Intel, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others have invested a collected $107 million in the consortium, reports said this week.
R3’s blockchain software focus is on business transactions and, according to reports, is one of the largest investments in a blockchain company ever (Circle and Coinbase have seen larger investments). According to reports, the $100 million is only part of a three-part Series A funding round for R3 and is looking to see the rest of the funding sometime this year.
R3 said it will use the funds to focus the development of Corda, a solution for financial services companies to execute legal contracts using blockchain-based software. Analysts said the technology can be especially useful for B2B cross-border trade.
“We are on our way to becoming the new operating system for financial services,” said R3 CEO David Rutter in a statement.
An unnamed source first broke the news of the investment, reportedly placed via a “bottoms-up fill.” But negotiations also led to the exit of several key participants in the consortium last year, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Santander.
India’s payments company ItzCash secured $123 million from U.S.-based SaaS company Ebix, reports this week said, in a deal that sees Ebix acquiring an 80 percent stake in the firm. The investment also provided an exit for current ItzCash investors Matrix Partners, Intel Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, reports said, though existing investor Essel Group will remain with a 20 percent stake in the company.
ItzCash provides an array of B2B and B2C payment solutions, including prepaid cards, digital wallet products and company disbursement services. The investment will allow the firm to expand its offerings to financial service providers and grow globally, using Ebix’s international footprint as a launchpad.
“This partnership with Ebix will help us deepen our foray into all kinds of financial services, such as credit, insurance, healthcare and investments to accelerate our growth momentum, even outside India,” said ItzCash Managing Director Naveen Surya.