B2B Payments

Robotics Process Automation Rakes In The VC Cash

In a week of multiple nine-figure venture capital funding rounds, B2B FinTech has proved it plans to end the year on a high note. The star of this week’s roundup is undoubtedly data: Two Robotics Process Automation (RPA) companies focusing on enterprise data analytics and automation landed a combined $565 million, while other high-value rounds were closed in the workspace sharing and asset-based lending markets. Below, PYMNTS breaks down the more than $912 million raised by B2B FinTech firms this week.

Automation Anywhere

RPA is igniting chatter in the corporate finance community as professionals explore next-level analytics and automation functionality to enhance processes like accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash flow management and more. This week, RPA startup Automation Anywhere made waves with its $300 million investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund, reports said Thursday (Nov. 15). The investment now values Automation Anywhere at $2.6 billion and was an extension of the firm’s Series A funding round, which, at the time, valued the company at $1.8 billion. In an interview, the firm’s CEO and Co-founder Mihir Shukla said the investment will be used to drive more corporate partnerships within SoftBank’s network, and work to push ahead of industry rivals in an increasingly competitive market for enterprise automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.


While Automation Anywhere’s funding was the largest of the week, its valuation is not the biggest. That achievement goes to UiPath, an industry competitor also operating in the Robotics Process Automation space. According to reports this week, the company raised $265 million in Series C funding, valuing the company at $3 billion. Investors from IVP, Madrona Venture Group and Meritech Capital all joined the fold, while existing backers CapitalG and Sequoia Capital led the round. UiPath said the funding will drive its growth and push for existing employees to realize partial liquidity.


France’s iBanFirst secured $17 million for its corporate cross-border payments solution, sources reported this week, with Serena Capital and Breega Capital leading the way. Existing backers, such as Xavier Niel, also participated in the funding. The FinTech targets friction and costs associated with foreign exchange (FX) conversion fees and volatility that corporates experience when making payments to their vendors across borders. iBanFirst enables businesses to transfer money from their bank accounts to an iBanFirst account, and allows those funds to be transferred into and held in 28 different currencies. The company makes FX rates and fees clear, and said its service is cheaper than making cross-border payments through bank providers. It also provides businesses with banking information for each currency, allowing them to obtain IBANs and account numbers from various markets to receive money in different currencies more easily. With the new funding, iBanFirst said it plans to provide support for more currencies and introduce new features for its solution.


Based in Canada, Ario offers an enterprise Lending-as-a-Service (LaaS) solution for businesses and FinTech firms that want to provide a financing services to their own clients. For instance, its LaaS platform lets businesses provide invoice or payroll financing to their customers. The company also operates a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) technology platform targeting small business (SMB) customers. With $10 million in new funding raised this week, a press release said, Ario plans to launch its white-label lending solutions and account management services, as well as enter the spheres of card issuance and cash management for small business loans, positioning itself as a technology provider so companies can roll out their own financial services to clients. Purpose Financial LP led the funding round, reports said.


Indonesia-based AwanTunai, also operating in the small business lending market, announced $4.3 million in Series A funding this week, led by Insignia Venture Partners and AMTD Group, with Global Brain, Fenox Venture Capital and other backers participating as well, e27 reported. The company seeks to provide micro-loans for small firms via its platform for banks and other lending firms, focusing on lower loan origination costs to address a gap in micro-businesses’ and consumers’ access to credit. AwanTunai, which is part of the PayPal Incubator in Singapore, targets businesses like motorcycle repair garages and grocery stores with its micro-lending solution, and aims to focus on loan volume growth.


Another nine-digit investment round was landed by a startup this week. Ucommune, a China-based co-working space startup, announced a $200 million Series D funding round, led by All-Stars Investment Limited. CEC Capital also participated, according to reports. Ucommune plans to use the investment to expand its presence globally, focus on research and development, and bolster its Internet of Things (IoT) smart-office technology offerings as it broadens its services to enterprise customers beyond access to on-demand workspaces.


Parabilis (previously known as PFF, LLC) announced its new name and a $100 million fundraise for its business financing solution that targets companies working with the U.S. Federal Government. In a press release issued this week, the company said it will continue to accelerate its service of linking SMBs to asset-based loans, with a focus on government contractors. Parabilis did not reveal who provided the $100 million investment, however.


With $6.39 million raised, U.K.-based Fluidly plans to drive small businesses’ ability to forecast and manage their cash flow something the company said is the biggest pain point for SMBs. The company collaborates with accounting firms and solution providers to deliver its cash flow management solution, which it has dubbed “Intelligence Cashflow,” reports said in Business Leader. Its Series A funding round was led by Nyca Partners, while Octopus Ventures, Anthemis, and angels Simon Murdoch and Charlie Songhurst all participated. Fluidly said it plans to add more engineers and data scientists to its team, as well as focus on sales and marketing.


A $10 million fundraise for logistics platform YunLian will be used to focus on boosting information exchange between companies and their logistics providers with its ERP platform, according to KrASIA. The Chinese company secured the Series A2 funding from Ameba Capital and Haina Asia SIG, and will be used to boost its ERP system that integrates applications for companies to manage back-office functions and store data. Supporting the search and booking of logistics providers, YunLian also plans to augment its offering with features to support businesses’ cross-border logistics needs, reports noted, with an immediate focus on information optimization to enhance efficiency on its platform.


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