From warehouse robots to R&D analytics, the B2B startups covered in this week's VC Investment roundup scored close to $200 million from investors. Logistics and alternative finance were high on the board, but it was a cybersecurity company in the U.S. that topped the week with a $60 million investment. PYMNTS breaks down the latest B2B startups to secure funding rounds below.
Based in France, Exotic Solutions provides warehouse services with its robotics technology. Reports in TechCrunch said the startup has just raised $17.7 million from Iris Capital, while existing backers 360 Capital Partners and Breega also participated. Exotic Solutions offers eCommerce businesses its Skypods robots, using automation to transport products in warehouses to human operators. In addition to the robots, the company has developed a logistics software product, though reports said the company will be focusing on building more Skypods with the latest investment round.
Its oversubscribed Series A funding round netted FreightWaves $13 million in fresh funding, the company announced this week. The investment was led by 8VC, with participation from previous backers, including Fontinalis Partners and Story Ventures. FreightWaves has developed an analytics platform and freight futures market to link industry players with supply and demand indicators. The company offers benchmarking data and other services via its SONAR Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, enabling freight brokers to more accurately price their services, and enable carriers to optimize routing. The company noted it is gearing up to launch freight futures contracts later this year.
As another startup utilizing data analytics, LevaData targets enterprises' supply chains, using its technology to optimize processes and cut costs. The California firm announced $12 million in Series B funding in a press release this week, noting Tola Capital led the funding. LevaData said it will use the funds to strengthen capabilities of its Cognitive Sourcing platform, which provides technology and manufacturing companies with supply chain analytics. The investment will also help the firm enter into new industries, including industrial equipment and medical devices.
Focusing its analytics technology on corporate research and development teams, U.K.-based startup PatSnap announced $38 million in Series D funding this week. Sequoia Capital and Shunwei Capital led the funding, while Qualgro also participated, according to a press release. PatSnap said the funds will go toward its own R&D, as well as toward global expansion as it enables businesses to obtain the highest return on IP and R&D investments.
Latin America's alternative finance market received a boost from the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation, which led a $10 million investment in eFactor Network, a Mexico-based company linking businesses with factoring and working capital solutions. Reports in Bankless Times said the funds will be used to help eFactor Network develop new products and building out its factoring marketplace, which enables B2B buyers and sellers to connect with financing institutions (FIs) in multiple currencies. The startup facilitates both alternative and traditional bank financing for trading partners.
Another alternative lender, CredAble, secured funding this week to the tune of $14.8 million. Alpha Capital led the Series A funding for the India-based company, which revealed plans to use the funding to expand its loan book, according to VC Circle reports. CredAble provides supply chain financing for suppliers waiting for their invoices to get paid on its marketplace of FIs, though the company is also working toward providing loans to borrowers directly as it continues the application process to become a licensed non-banking financial entity. Reports said the funds will also be used to expand its technology and staff.
Another India alternative lending startup, AYE Finance, raised $21.5 million in Series C funding led by CapitalG and existing backers SAIF Partners and LGT. The company, which has already secured a non-banking financial license, targets micro-businesses with its working capital and business development loans using proprietary underwriting technology. Using data analytics, the company aims to be able to provide financing to underserved small businesses (SMBs) in the country, according to Business Standard reports.
U.S.-based cybersecurity startup Claroty announced a $60 million Series B funding round led by Temasek, while Rockwell Automation, Aster Capital, next47, Envision Ventures and Tekfen Ventures also participated. The company targets industrial control networks with its cybersecurity platform — industrial networks are increasingly becoming interconnected, making them a growing target for cybercriminals seeking data and collateral for ransomware attacks, the firm said in a press release. Claroty said it will use the investment to continue global expansion, focus on product innovation and extend sales and customer support.
South Korea's Blocko announced $8.9 million in Series B funding from SparkLabs Global Ventures, POSCO and Premier Partners, as well as existing investors Samsung Venture Investment, Daesung Private Equity and WONIK Investment Partners, according to a press release. The company has developed what it calls an "ecosystem project" called Aergo, which is plans to release at an undesignated time. The enterprise blockchain platform provider also plans to use the investment to expand into new markets and continue collaborating with open source communities.
Logistics scored significant attention this week, and the industry could see another wave of funding, as reports in ENTracker revealed that India's Shadowfax could see a $25 million Series C investment round led by China's JD.com. It would mark the Chinese company's first investment in an Indian startup, reports said, though the funding is not confirmed.