B2B Payments

Robotics Process Automation Dwarfs The B2B VC Competition

Robotics process automation (RPA) is a fast-rising star in the enterprise software space, touting its ability to go beyond surface-level automation and provide true efficiencies to businesses. Investors are clearly impressed, thanks to a funding round for one startup that now claims it may be the fastest-growing enterprise software company in history.

However, other notable B2B FinTech investments this week have come from startups targeting the inefficiencies of corporate banking, logistics and freight booking, and business payments. In total, more than $360 million was raised by these companies. Here’s how that funding was disbursed.

Cobase

Open banking platform Cobase secured an $8.88 million investment from ING Ventures, reports in City A.M. said this week. Cobase is itself a venture of ING Bank, and aims to take advantage of Open Banking regulations in the U.K. by enabling corporate users to access all of their bank accounts in a single portal. The solution lets businesses view balances and transactions, make payments and use their financial service providers’ cash management services within a single solution. The startup’s Founder and Chief Executive Jorge Schafraad said the company’s goal “is to make it easier and more efficient to work with multiple banks.” Part of that effort will be to develop a “robo assistant” and transaction monitoring features, reports said.

Modulr

Another U.K. firm, Modulr, announced fresh funding from Blenheim Chalcot as it revealed its newest office in Edinburgh, according to Specialist Banking reports. The company did not say how much it raised, but reports noted that, in all, the company has secured nearly $14 million in funding. Modulr offers business payment services, providing companies their own account to facilitate faster and more streamlined transactions. With the new office, the company said it will grow its staff by more than 30, as it sees an average monthly transaction volume increase of 11 percent.

EcoTruck

Logistics startup EcoTruck, based in Vietnam, secured Pre-Series A funding this week to the tune of $1.7 million, according to e27 reports. Access Ventures, FuturePlay, Nextran, Viet Capital Ventures and three additional angel investors all contributed to the investment. EcoTruck plans to use the investment to further enhance its logistics platform and grow its team, and to streamline logistics and trucking services for businesses by nixing manual processes and paper. According to EcoTruck, a lack of automation not only increases costs and reduces efficiencies, but can facilitate corruption in the form of unnoticed kickbacks between supply chain employees and logistics service providers. The startup’s platform lets businesses automate vendor contracts, delivery tracking, customs processes, loading and unloading, and other aspects of the trucking process.

Freightos

In other logistics funding news, Freightos announced $44.4 million raised from Singapore Exchange, according to reports. The company’s Series C funding also saw participation from existing backers: General Electric Ventures, ICV and Aleph. While Freightos first launched as a platform on which companies could compare freight-forwarder prices, the solution has since expanded to facilitate booking, managing and tracking of freight shipments. More than 1,200 logistics service providers use the platform to land clients. With the funding, Freightos will explore new products and services in its vision to develop a “global digital infrastructure,” reports said.

UiPath

The $225 million investment in UiPath is impressive, not only for its size, but for what it means for the RPA company. According to reports, the investment has propelled the company’s valuation to $3 billion, and could make it the fastest-growing enterprise software startup ever (according to the company). UiPath saw the investment from CapitalG and Sequoia Capital, while previous investor Accel also participated. The company is targeting a range of business processes to automate using RPA technology, including payroll, employee onboarding, procurement and accounts payable.

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