After a few quiet weeks, U.S. B2B startups in the small business banking, expense management and analytics sectors led this week’s investment roundup, securing more than half of the $108 million raised.
But it’s a startup in Africa that not only secured the largest investment round of the week, but set a new record in the process, raising $47.5 million in the largest investment round ever for a FinTech that operates exclusively in the continent. Find out who raised the money, and other winners of this week’s B2B venture capital roundup, below.
Small Business Banking
India’s small business bank alternative, Open, announced pre-Series A funding from Unicorn India Ventures and Recruit via its RSP India fund, reports in Inc42 said. The company did not reveal how much it raised, but noted that ISME ACE and BetterCapital also participated. Open said it will use the funds for customer acquisition and growth, with a goal of on-boarding 200,000 small businesses over the next two years. Co-founder and CEO Anish Achuthan told reporters that the funds will also be used to bolster Open’s existing platform, develop new products like lending and wealth management, and implement artificial intelligence and analytics into its offering.
A $7 million Series A financing round for digital identity startup Cambridge Blockchain was announced this week, with Taiwan-based manufacturing conglomerate Foxconn leading the investment through its funding unit. Partech and Digital Currency Group also participated in the round, reports said. The U.S.-based Cambridge Blockchain provides technology for financial institutions and other enterprises to manage software, with investors at Partech emphasizing the company’s ability to help customers across Europe comply with General Data Protection Regulations.
With operations across Africa, Cellulant offers a digital accounts receivable solution with integrated payment reminder, collection, settlement and reconciliation capabilities. The company raised $47.5 million from a group of backers, reports in Forbes said this week, with TPG Growth’s Rise Fund leading the way. Endeavour Catalyst and Satya Capital also participated. According to reports, Cellulant’s funding is the largest for an Africa-only FinTech. The startup also operates a blockchain system for smart contracts and payments, dubbed Agrikore, that targets agriculture companies in need of streamlined supply chain management and payments solutions. With the funds, Cellulant said it will continue to focus scaling its payments and digital banking solutions for the agriculture industry.
California’s Plastiq provides small businesses with a commercial card solution to facilitate bill and expense payments. This week, the firm revealed $27 million raised by Atlas Venture, Khosla Ventures and Top Tier Capital Partners. Plastiq said it will use the investment to develop new payment services and focus on accelerated growth. According to the startup, it is targeting SMBs that want to benefit from rewards programs and early payment discounts without having to let go of cash immediately. The firm links customers to American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover and JCB products, and integrates cards into its payments platform to process expenses like supplier, contractor, tax and rent payments.
Data & Business Intelligence
Revenue and intelligence solutions provider InsightSquared, based in the U.S., announced $23 million in Series D funding this week led by Tola Capital, while Accomplice, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Two Sigma and NextView also participated. InsightSquared will deploy the investment to boost engineering and product talent, as well as to develop its enterprise sales and services organization.
BDS Analytics, based in the U.S., targets the cannabis industry with its market intelligence and consumer research offering. The company said this week that it raised $3.5 million in Series B funding by Canopy Ventures and Altitude Investment Management, while Panther Opportunity Fund and other existing backers also participated. The investment will be used for national expansion of the company’s enterprise software, Grenedge, and broaden the launch of its consumer insights and industry intelligence services, the company said.