More than $205 million in financing was invested in B2B startups this week, signaling investors’ continued appetite for these players as the seasons turn. Cybersecurity, per usual, saw a busy week, while workforce management, alternative small business lending, supply chain management, and other financial services also secured rounds. But it was an enterprise data management firm, taking advantage of corporates’ increased adoption of IoT and machine learning technology, that topped the list.
India’s Instamojo, which provides micro, small and medium-sized businesses with a payment platform, remained tight-lipped on the Series B round it recently raised, according to DealStreetAsia. The company also announced new products such as MojoXpress, which links companies to logistics services, and MojoCapital, which connects SMBs to financing. Reports said the products signal Instamojo’s efforts to provide holistic financial services to its small business users. The firm didn’t disclose how much it raised, or who provided the funding.
LEAP India provides supply chain management solutions to corporate companies, and its offerings have impressed investors. The company said it raised $28 million in debt capital led by Piramal Capital & Housing Finance. Reports in Inc42 said the company works with businesses in any industry that needs to transfer goods from Point A to Point B, and that it provides logistics solutions, including packaging materials and transport equipment. LEAP will use the funding for refinancing and capital expansion.
While California’s AirTM provides consumer banking and financial services, it is also targeting business clients, with a focus on developing markets in Latin America. BlueYard Capital has led a $7 million Series A funding round for the company, which operates a blockchain-powered digital wallet and P2P exchange platform. The solutions link consumers and businesses to financial services, allowing customers to save money (in U.S. dollars) and access payments and other services. The press release did not reveal how AirTM plans to use the funding.
There is no shortage of cybersecurity startups lately, and with $11 million in Series A funding, New Knowledge, based in Texas, is one of many landing new funding. The company focuses its cybersecurity solutions on defense against disinformation, targeting highly-visible brands that are targeted by “digital manipulation campaigns.” Artificial intelligence can identify attacks, their source, and mitigate the spread of misinformation. New Knowledge plans to use the funds to expand sales and marketing, and to enter into new markets, it said in a press release.
Very Good Security
Reports said cybersecurity outfit Very Good Security landed $8.5 million in new funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. NYCA, Vertex Ventures, Slow Ventures and PayPal’s Max Levchin also participated. VGS provides data storage services and encrypts that information whenever it needs to be moved or shared. The company explained that it never actually sees the data it stores for corporate customers. When holding payment card numbers, for example, the true credit card number only emerges when a customer makes a payment.
Another player in the data storage space, Cloudian, scored the largest funding round of the week, with $94 million in Series E. MarTech Advisor reports said the California-based firm raised funds from Digital Alpha, Eight Roads Ventures, Goldman Sachs, INCJ, JPIC, NTT DOCOMO Ventures and WS Investments. According to reports, this is the largest round to-date for a distributed file systems storage provider. Cloudian will use the funding to expand sales and marketing efforts and grow its engineering team. The firm offers enterprises a mix of private and public clouds to store data, citing rising demand as IoT and machine learning gain traction.
Based in Singapore, Travelstop provides business travel services integrated with artificial intelligence (AI). With $1.2 million in new seed funding, the company has officially launched, and said it will look towards expanding throughout Southeast Asia. SeedPlus provided the funding, a press release said, bolstering Travelstop’s Software-as-a-Service solution that helps companies book travel and manage expense reports, while providing spend analytics. Its platform uses AI to make smart hotel and flight recommendations. According to SeedPlus partner Michael Smith Jr., 90 percent of business travel in Asia is “unmanaged,” yet the Asia-Pacific region is the largest business travel market in the world.
Saama Capital has led the $4.2 million venture capital investment round for India’s Shubh Loans, operated by Datasigns Technologies. The firm offers financial institutions an underwriting platform to analyze traditional and non-traditional data, aiming to provide access to finance for underbanked borrowers. The funding, which also saw participation from SRI Capital, BEENEXT and Pravega Ventures, will go towards further development of its credit scoring technology and platform, as well as development of new features for its offering, according to reports in Inc42.
Headquartered in Ireland, alternative lending platform Flender announced $11.7 million in funding for its solution that targets small and medium-sized enterprise borrowers. With plans to raise more funds, Flender plans to use the investment to enter into the property and asset-backed lending industry, finance loans and accelerate application decisions, according to The Irish Times. Eiffel Investment Group led the funding round.
Denmark’s Planday, which provides a workforce collaboration platform for businesses that hire shift workers, raised $40 million this week led by SEB Private Equity, with Creandum and Idinvest also participating. The company said in a press release it plans to use the funds to expand its platform and fuel growth in Europe and North America. Its solution helps employers manage schedules and facilitate communication between staff of all levels, while offering integration into existing payroll platforms.