B2B FinTech enjoyed one of its busiest and most lucrative weeks this year so far. In addition to acquisitions — like Barclays’ minority stake in MarketInvoice and Certify’s takeover of Abacus — venture capitalists pumped new funding into the field, with many rounds reaching nine figures. While alternative lending scored the most funding, payroll landed the largest single investment round of the week.
Ireland’s Logos Network is in the midst of developing a blockchain powered payment system for both micro- and large-scale B2B transactions. The company announced this week it raised $3 million in seed funding for its efforts, reports in Cryptovest said, with funding led by ZhenFund, the U.S. Digital Currency Group, INBlockchain and Blockwater Capital. Additional investors also included Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, AlphaBlock Capital and AlphaCoin Fund. With the fresh funding, Logos Network will focus on speed, cost, volume and security with its business payments technology. Reports said the firm also plans to integrate Proof-of-Stake technology company Axios.
In the largest funding round of the week, payroll firm Gusto secured $140 million in Series C funding from MSC Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Y Combinator Continuity Fund and T. Rowe Price Associates. Several existing backers in the company also participated, Gusto announced. The company plans to use the funding to expand its existing payroll, benefits and HR platform to introduce new capabilities, with a particular focus on handing employees greater control over when and how they receive wages.
Australia’s small business financial services market saw Judo Capital secure $104 million this week. The equity, provided by the Ontario Pension Trust, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Myer Family Investments, is bolstering the company’s efforts to evolve into more than a FinTech. The so-called challenger bank facilitates access to funding for SMBs in an effort to fill in gaps left by traditional banks.
Five Star Business Finance
A $100 million investment round for India’s Five Star Business Finance, led by private equity firm TPG, is bolstering the company’s ability to link small- and medium-sized businesses to financing. Existing backers Norwest Venture Partners, a Morgan Stanley investment fund and Sequoia Capital also participated in the investment, VCCircle reports said this week. Five Star Business Finance, which has been in operation for more than three decades, but only pivoted to SMB finance in 2005, is targeting small retailers like food vendors and self-employed professionals with its services. Reports did not reveal exactly how the company plans to use the investment.
C88 Financial Technologies
In yet another funding round for an alternative finance provider, C88 revealed a $28 million Series C investment led by Experian, while responsAbility Investments, DEG, InterVest, FengHe Fund Management and a slew of other backers, new and existing, also participated. C88 has a strong presence in Asia, operating Indonesia’s CekAja.com and eCompareMo.com in the Philippines — both of which are top financial marketplaces in their perspective markets. C88 said it is planing to launch yet another finance marketplace in Thailand. In addition to the funding, Experian is integrating its technology into C88’s existing platforms, which provide financial services to both businesses and consumers in an effort to address the under-banked.
Another Indian B2B FinTech, Ninjacart, secured investment this week to the tune of $4.9 million. The B2B eCommerce company secured the funding from Accel Partners and NRJN Trust, reported this week by VCCircle. The round remains open, reports noted, and Ninjacart is in discussions to secure more funding. Ninjacart targets its solution to the agricultural industry, enabling farmers to sell their produce and products directly to retailers, restaurants and other corporate buyers without third-party intervention.