While there’s been much hype surrounding venture capitalists’ growing attention on B2B FinTech, this year has largely been lackluster for the industry. This week, however, B2B startups enjoyed a solid moment of funding, as familiar names like Tipalti were joined by newcomers like Zervant to address an array of business finance needs. We break down where $77.5 million landed this week (including the blockchain company that secured most of it) below.
Nicknamed NepFin, Neptune Financial recently announced $10 million in Series A funding for its alternative lending solution. The company is entering a competitive market but is positioning itself as a hybrid lender targeting middle-market companies that it says are underserved by banks and even the AltFin space. Sands Capital Ventures led the investment, which NepFin recently told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster will go toward expanding its origination team and investing in its underlying technology and data capabilities. A bit further down the road, CEO and Co-Founder Albert Periu said, NepFin will explore partnerships with traditional financial institutions (FIs) and possibly even a way to license its platform out to them.
While WeTravel primarily operates in the B2C payments space, the payments company — which enables entrepreneurs and small travel companies to accept and manage payments for group travel — recently told PYMNTS it is open to exploring an entrance in the corporate travel space as well. As it expands, the company revealed $2 million in seed funding led by The House Fund and former TubeMogul Chief Executive Brett Wilson. WeTravel Co-Founder and CEO Johannes Koeppel said he wants to inject ACH payments into this industry, which is typically dominated by card transactions — and which get expensive for the small business (SMB) accepting those payments. But ACH payments can be slow, so the company is exploring the adoption of faster and real-time payments into its platform, including the possibility of blockchain in the future.
Accounts Payable Automation
Landing the second-largest funding of the week is Tipalti, which helps companies automate accounts payable and manage cross-border transactions. “It’s quite clear it’s time for the payables operation to take advantage of automation,” said Oren Zeev, founding partner of Zeev Ventures and co-founder and chairman of Tipalti, in a recent interview with PYMNTS. Zeev led the $30 million Series C funding round for the company, bringing the total raised by the firm to $50 million. The company wants to use the cash to focus on research and development (R&D), customer success and account management, while the firm also mentioned using the investment to continue growing out its customer base and launching new partnerships.
A $4.5 million funding round will boost small business eInvoicing company Zervant as it expands across Europe to provide clients with its free service. The cash, according to the company’s announcement, will also be used to explore new products like invoice financing that could seamlessly be added into its suite, while it is also looking into launching in new geographic markets. Northzone and Conor Venture Partners led the investment found, reports said.
In an appropriate sign of the times, it’s a blockchain company that landed the greatest funding this week — by far. Dfinity Foundation landed $61 million as part of its quest to build a blockchain “internet computer.” According to The Merkle reports, the company raised the funds throughout the start of this year; the publication highlighted Dfinity’s “ambitious” aim — to develop a way to connect the world’s millions of computers via blockchain. The company has already piloted its network. Reports said the network is more than 600 times faster than the Ethereum blockchain. The company plans to use the $61 million to support its team of developers as they build more applications for the network, with plans to apply its network for corporates. Andreessen Horowitz and cryptocurrency hedge fund Polychain Capital led the investment, reports in Investopedia noted.