Once again, alternative finance generated the most backing from investors this week — though not from venture capitalists (VCs). Instead, VCs leaned conservatively toward a mix of B2B FinTechs operating in the financial management space for small businesses (SMBs) and in the treasury management market for mid-level and larger enterprises. All in all, investments totaled more than $178.6 million, though more than 80 percent of that came in the form of debt funding. It seems VC has cooled off a bit in the B2B FinTech front. Check out the startups that secured funding rounds this week below.
With $2.45 million in Series A funding announced this week, Cashforce plans to continue its international expansion. The company provides cash and treasury management solutions. The funding — provided by Volta Ventures and Pamica NV’s Michel Akkermans — will go toward expanding its staff. In addition to physical expansion, Cashforce said it aims to add new products to its offering for mid-market and larger enterprises. The company provides automation in treasury and cash flow forecasting that can integrate into existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems. Since its launch, the firm added working capital analytics and other tools for its corporate finance clients.
Just months after its official launch, Quilam Capital, which provides debt and equity to FinTechs, announced its third investment. The firm provided funding to U.K. alternative small business asset finance company Catfoss Finance, which has been in operation for nearly two decades, though the companies did not reveal the value of the funding. Catfoss said it will use the investment to focus on its next stage of growth, which will include an expansion of its product portfolio and investments in infrastructure and staff, reports said.
Israel’s SMB lender Behalf once again proved alternative finance is a long-lasting favorite of investors. The company revealed it raised $150 million in debt financing provided by Soros Management Fund and the Viola Credit fund; the investment, according to reports in Globes, replaces the $100 million raised earlier by the company to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses. While Behalf is based in Israel, the company targets U.S. SMB borrowers.
Also landing a bit of debt funding was India’s Cash Suvidha, which secured $2.5 million from financial institutions and private placement, reports in Business Standard said this week. The firm said the investment will go toward bolstering its loan books to continue providing funding to small businesses in the country. The funding follows last December’s $2.7 million debt funding round.
Small Business Finance
You may know this company as Captain401, but the firm announced a rebrand to Human Interest and an investment of $11 million. The Series A funding was led by Wing Venture Capital, while former Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash also participated, the U.S. company revealed. Human Interest provides small business employers and employees with retirement savings plans and solutions. According to VentureBeat reports, the company plans to use the investment to expand operations and continue to help small businesses set up 401k programs for their workers by digitizing and automating the workload.
Germany’s challenger bank Penta announced $2.7 million in fresh funding led by U.K.-based Inception Capital, reports in Crowdfund Insider said. The company’s seed funding will go toward expanding staff and focusing on customer acquisition. Penta provides automated accounting, FX management and commercial cards for startups and small businesses; in addition to the latest investment, the firm revealed that companies will no longer be placed on a waiting list to sign up for a Penta account. While the challenger bank community has received the most attention in the U.K., Penta CEO and Co-Founder Lav Odorovic said in a statement that “Germany’s traditional banks are miserably failing to satisfy business owners.”
Autobooks LLC targets banks and other financial institutions with its solutions to help those FinServ players meet the accounting, invoicing and payments needs of their own business customers. This week, the U.S. company said it secured $10 million in funding, which will go toward expanding staff and opening a new office, reports said. Draper Triangle, Baird Capital, Detroit Venture Partners, Invest Michigan and CU Solutions Group all participated in the funding, reports in Crain’s Detroit said, adding that all were previous backers of the company. Autobooks noted its client base is made up primarily of community banks and credit unions, but that the new funding will also help the firm target larger FIs moving forward.