This week was not, by any means, the biggest week in B2B FinTech venture capital. A modest $33.7 million landed among corporate accounting, supply chain management and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) firms. But a closer look at the companies that landed cash this week also reveals some firms turning to sources other than venture capitalists for their funds, including an alternative small business (SMB) lending platform and a blockchain company. Take a look at the investment rounds below.
This Vietnam-based blockchain payments company may not have secured venture capital, but TrustPay announced this week it landed an investment from holding company Vemanti Group, though the companies did not disclose financial details of the deal. Vemanti acquired a 19.6 percent piece of the company, which provides financial services in an array of areas, including B2B, B2C, P2P and mobile payments. The company facilitates cryptocurrency trading across the Southeast Asia region and is currently working on building an API to link into Coinbase. The companies also said TrustPay is in the process of launching its Banking-as-a-Service solution. In a statement, TrustPay Chairman and CEO Eric Vuong said “the global opportunity within the blockchain-based financial sector broadly has far more potential than we can practically execute ourselves.”
Index Ventures led the $9.9 million funding for Spendesk, a France-based startup that links companies with a customizable prepaid card and expense management solution. Spendesk enables companies to provide each employee with a prepaid card that they can top up via the Spendesk platform or via IBAN. Employers can set limits and restrictions on that spend and gain a holistic view of expenses. In an interview with TechCrunch, the company’s Founder and CEO Rodolphe Ardant said the Spendesk platform will expand to automate back-end expense management tasks and to simplify more corporate spending, like supplier payments. According to reports, investors Michael Benabou, Laurent Asscher, Louis Jonckheere and Pieterjan Bouten also participated in the funding.
The $18 million raised by Bench, a corporate bookkeeping solution, will go toward continued growth of the company, which has already gone through a name change and an expansion of its services. The company targets small- and medium-sized companies and deploys machine learning to automate bookkeeping and to enable accountants and financial professionals to focus on more strategic tasks. The B-1 funding was led by iNovia Capital, while existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Altos Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank also participated, according to TechCrunch reports.
Fresh Thinking Capital
With $42.8 million in fresh funding, U.K.-based Fresh Thinking Capital is closer to launching its small business lending operations. An unnamed private investor provided the investment, reports in the The Yorkshire Post said, to propel the company into operations. Initially, Fresh Thinking will provide SMB loans financed against assets. The company said it’s currently in talks with other lenders, including traditional banks and equity funders, to facilitate the lending process.
Supply Chain Management
U.K.-based DeepStream provides an online B2B marketplace for the oil industry supply chain and recently announced $800,000 in angel funding to bolster the company. DeepStream said it will use the investment to expand its staff and continue to scale operations. Specifically, the company said in an announcement, it will hire senior software developers and aims to expand across Mexico, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Backers include a melange of investors: Pierre Andurand, Markus Hunold, John Jeffery, Alain Dibb and Philippe Lenoble.
With Software-as-a-Service now a staple in the enterprise, SaaSOptics wants to help B2B SaaS companies grow and manage subscriptions. The company raised $5 million in Series A funding, it said this week, led by Fulcrum Equity Partners. Tom Noonan and TechStars Ventures, both existing backers, and Duke Angel Network also participated. In addition to the new funding, SaaSOptics said it experienced 139 percent committed APR growth from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 and nearly doubled its workforce. With the new funding, the company plans to expand its headcount even further.