B2B Payments

Small Business FinTech Takes Center Stage With VCs

Cybersecurity investment probably won’t let up anytime soon. Indeed, this week did see some cybersecurity funding action, with several big-name backers participating in the $85 million investment for Team8, a venture studio that explores how corporate collaboration can develop better cybersecurity tools and businesses.

This week, however, venture capital rounds were all about the small- and medium-sized business (SMBs), and how to address their biggest financial management pain points. Businesses across Asia, South Africa, the U.K. and U.S. raised venture capital for their SMB-facing tools, including global payments, accounting and banking. With only a few million dollars in combined investments, this week certainly wasn’t the most lucrative for B2B FinTech firms, but the variety and global reach of recent SMB FinTech investments offers a bright spot in an otherwise quiet moment for B2B venture capital.


Targeting China’s SMB community, XTransfer provides cross-border payments, collection and foreign exchange solutions, with its eye fixed on exporters. The company  which has offices in Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and U.K.  mixes wealth management with its global money movement offerings to support SMBs’ cross-border trade operations. The startup announced this week a $10 million fundraiser led by China Merchants Group, while 01VC, Yunqi Partners and Gaorong Capital also participated in the Series A round. XTransfer said it will use the investment to further expand its global financial network, as well as to market and promote its service, and fund efforts to apply for a financial license.


Moving over to Hong Kong, Neat is a startup that provides SMBs with financial services like commercial cards and banking tools. The company recently raised $3 million for its solution, reports said, with investors from Linear Capital leading the round. Hong Kong’s Sagamore, and existing backers Dymon Asia Ventures and Portag3 Ventures, also participated in the investment, which follows a $2 million Seed funding round closed earlier this year. Its flagship offering, a Mastercard prepaid card, combines with straightforward banking services for SMBs. While the company targets Hong Kong, it is able to provide global services to its clients, including cross-border payments. Following the new funding, Neat said it would be developing more multi-currency solutions and integrations with third-party platforms.


With $5.13 million in Series A funding, Futrli landed support from e.ventures, Notion Capital and firstminute Capital for its small business forecasting and reporting solutions. The U.K. company’s cloud-based offering aims to help small businesses make more agile decisions, while also linking its tools to small business accountants, not only to analyze historical financial data, but to help SMBs to look ahead. The new funding will be used to expand its team and open new locations, though the company did not reveal where its expansion will occur, reports in Business Matters said.

Nisa Finance

South Africa incubator and investor AlphaCode awarded $1.1 million to eight local FinTech startups, including Nisa Finance, an invoice financing platform. The company links financiers to SMBs that need their invoices financed, offering an automated application and invoice verification process that integrates directly with companies’ ERP systems, IT Web said. Reports did not reveal exactly how much of the $1.1 million awarded went to Nisa Finance, however.


While not focused specifically on the SMB, cloud accounting and payroll company GreenSlate has a unique customer in mind: businesses operating in the entertainment industry, including Netflix, HBO and others. This week, the firm revealed that private investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson acquired a minority investment in GreenSlate as it aims to further automate and optimize financial management for industry players. Its offerings include benefits administration, tax credit services, residual payments, production accounting and more. The investment will go toward geographic expansion and the development of new services, the company said.


Another B2B startup landing new funding this week, that is not targeting small companies, is Infoworks, a California-based data engineering software platform provider. The company landed $25 million in Series C funding for its solution, a press release said, led by New Enterprise Associates, while Nexus Venture Partners and Centerview Capital Technology also participated. Infoworks said it will use the funds to focus on scale and go-to-market efforts as it works to support the enterprise’s digital transformation and data management efforts.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.