Venture capitalists were fairly conservative in their B2B FinTech funding activities this week – a few million here, another couple million there. But they were varied: investments landed across industries, from enterprise security to corporate banking, and across geographies, including India, Israel, Germany, France and the U.S. One B2B startup in particular was the only to score double-digit funding ($20 million), and it’s from a segment of the market our B2B venture capital roundups haven’t seen in a while. Find out who it was, and who else secured their share of the $34 million in total investments handed out this week.
India’s enterprise security company WISeKey surpassed funding expectations when it revealed Friday (Jan. 13) that it raised $1.3 million in seed funding. WISeKey India, a unit of WISeKey International Holding, will focus on providing Indian entrepreneurs with cybersecurity and IoT solutions; the company also announced plans to launch a mobile app with NFC payment capabilities, targeted advertising and other tools for individuals. But on the B2B side, WISeKey enables businesses to transact securely and ensure the digital identify of others.
Through the use of artificial intelligence, Fraugster helps businesses detect payment fraud and announced this week that investors have placed $5 million into its operations. Reports Monday (Jan. 16) revealed Earlybird led the funding, which also saw participation from Speedinvest, Seedcamp and a Switzerland-based family office that went unnamed. The Germany- and Israel-based company uses its own AI technology to assess transactions in real-time; the company claims to be able to detect payment fraud before it even happens, and that it reduces fraud by 70 percent. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, CEO and cofounder Max Laemmle said today’s payment risk market is built “on outdated technology.”
Also Monday, France’s Qonto announced its own $1.7 million funding round led by Valar Ventures and Alven Capital. The company secured the investment for its solution that disrupts the corporate banking sector; Qonto offers a solution to help entrepreneurs and SMEs open a business bank account in only a few minutes. The new funds will be used to build up its solution – which will see an official launch later this year – and to partner with other FinServ players in an effort to provide a more well-rounded, custom banking experience for businesses.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a B2B startup targeting the on-demand economy in our VC roundup, but this week Shiftgig fills that gap with its announcement Tuesday (Jan. 17) that it secured $20 million for its mobile app. Shiftgig connects hourly gig workers to open, temporary positions at businesses in their communities looking to fill a few extra shifts. The Series C funding, led by DRW Venture Capital, FJ Labs, GGV Capital, KDWC Ventures and a William Blair affiliate, will be used to scale operations across more of the U.S.
This U.S.-based company is focused on linking SMEs in developing nations to trade finance via a mobile app. On Thursday (Jan. 19), Kountable secured access to some financing of its own, to the tune of a $150 million line of credit offered by an asset manager with experience in the FinTech and alternative finance space (the company declined to name who). At the same time, Kountable revealed $6 million in early stage financing, used to expand its staff and grow its global footprint. The company said it will look to deepen ties with other enterprises with the funds as well.