With more than $370 million raised by B2B startups this week, investors are showing their support for companies that help other businesses embrace digitization. The cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are all prevalent themes in this week’s venture capital breakdown, with startups working to overhaul entire processes for their enterprise customers, from logistics to workforce management.
Enterprise cloud company Deskera raised $60 million from Jungle Ventures, Cisco Investments, Tembusu Partners, Susquehanna International Group and InnoVen Capital, a press release said this week. The company targets small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with its cloud-based business management solutions, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. In addition to the new funding, Deskera announced the debut of its B2B eCommerce platform Desk, allowing small businesses to buy and sell online. The firm, based in Singapore, plans to use the funding on further product research and development, and to enable the integration of its ERP system into Singapore’s digital trade platform, the Networked Trade Platform (NTP).
Operating in the enterprise cloud space as well, Wave Computing announced $86 million in funding this week for its AI technologies, enabling companies to take advantage of its data with deep learning capabilities. The company raised the Series E funding from Oakmont Corporation and existing backers, according to a press release, and will be used to focus on global growth for the firm.
Aquant wants its enterprise clients to take advantage of artificial intelligence in a different way. The New York-based firm offers an AI Service Intelligence platform targeting the manufacturing and services industries. Its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform deploys AI and natural language processing to aggregate and analyze enterprise data across its workforce management, CRM and asset management platforms, all to support decision-making and operational insights. This week, the company announced $10 million in Series A funding led by Lightspeed, while World Trade Ventures, Angular Ventures and Silvertech Ventures also participated. The firm said it will use the investment to focus on operational expansion.
Beijing-housed Geek+ has secured an impressive $150 million for its robotics technology that targets supply chain management and logistics operations. The company recently announced the Series B funding led by Warburg Pincus, with plans to use the investment to accelerate growth and product development. According to Geek+, combining robotics, AI, Big Data and other technologies can help businesses fully automate and optimize their logistics and supply chain management tools. Its current solution suite includes an autonomous forklift and automated sorting capabilities.
California-based Asana announced $50 million in Series E funding for its work and project management solution, a round that values the company at $1.5 billion, according to a press release. Generation Investment Management led the investment, while existing backers 8VC, Benchmark and Founders Fund also participated. New backers Edge Capital Group and World Innovation Lab tacked onto the round, too. Asana will focus on growth and global expansion with the new funds, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Eko also operates in the work management space, but this Thailand-based company specializes in servicing businesses with a mobile workforce. Its solution enables firms to support communication and collaboration between employees, regardless of location, with integrated project management and knowledge management functionality. SMDV led a $20 million Series B investment round for the company, according to a press release, while RedBeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures and existing backers also participated. Eko said it will focus on the geographic expansion of its solution across Europe and North America.
With $81 million in new funding, Deputy will continue to build out its hourly paid workforce management technologies. The Series B investment announced this week — reportedly Australia’s largest-ever Series B funding — was led by IVP, while OpenView, Square Peg Capital and EVP also participated, offering both U.S. and Australia-based financial support for the firm. Deputy enables businesses to streamline scheduling and timesheet management for their bases of hourly workers, offering communication support and time management capabilities.
Staffing startup Zenjob revealed a $17 million Series B funding round this week led by AXA Venture Partners, while Acton Capital Partners, Redalpine and Atlantic Labs also participated. Targeting middle-market and large enterprises, Zenjob provides an alternative to traditional temporary staffing agencies, digitizing the process through which companies can hire temporary staff, including job posting, candidate matching and shift management. With the new funding, Zenjob said it is gearing up to launch a solution for retail business customers and, more broadly, will focus on technological product development and geographic expansion in its home market of Germany.
Cybersecurity risk management enterprise CloudSEK announced a $1.97 million pre-Series A investment round this week, Entrepreneur reported. Based in Singapore, the company offers a SaaS solution for businesses to streamline their risk mitigation efforts. Exfinity Venture Partners and StartupXseed led the funding round, the publication said. The funding will be used to further develop its flagship SaaS solution, X-Vigil, and expand operations across India and Southeast Asia.
Another enterprise cybersecurity startup, Cybersprint, raised $2.28 million in Series A funding for its technology that provides continuous, real-time management of cyber risks, Silicon Canals reported this week. Vortex Capital Partners led the funding, while existing backers InnovationQuarter and KPN Ventures also participated. The Dutch company said it will use the funding to continue to build out its product portfolio and increase its staff as it expands across Europe.
In one of the highest-profile funding rounds of the week, U.S.-based Modo Payments announced $13 million in Series A funding, with Deutsche Bank taking an equity stake in the firm. Strategic angel investors and previous backers also participated in the round, the company said. Deutsche plans to implement Modo technology to enhance its B2B and B2C payment offerings, particularly as the bank looks to support payments via non-bank payment platforms like PayPal and Alipay.