B2B Payments

Airbnb's Business Travel Investment Leads B2B Funding For The Week

The big news in B2B FinTech investment this week came from Airbnb, which is bolstering its presence in the business travel market with new funding, while corporate card startup Brex also secured a prominent debt capital investment. The B2B FinTech space saw its fair share of venture capital, too, with investors targeting spend management, alternative small business lending, workforce management and enterprise crypto services — plus, some news of a few more investment rounds likely on the horizon.


Airbnb made another move in the business travel arena, this time through leading a $160 million investment round for Lyric. Bloomberg said this week that Lyric, based in California, operates as an on-demand short-term rental provider, connecting users with premium apartments and cleaning services. The company aims to differentiate itself on the market by targeting business travelers who can stay mere days or up to several months in its rental offerings, reports noted. Separate reports noted that Lyric secured the debt equity from a range of backers, including Tishman Speyer, Obvious Ventures, RXR Realty, Dick Costolo, Adam Bain and Sinewave, while several existing investors also participated. Lyric plans to use the investment to expand its operations as it continues to focus on regulatory compliance.


Barclays Investment Bank provided commercial card technology firm Brex with a $100 million debt capital round, the firms said this week, which sees Brex's corporate card receivables back the warehouse line of credit provided by Barclays. Brex said it will use the investment to continue scaling its offerings for startups across different verticals as it strengthens its commercial card technology.


Canada's small business online lending platform Lendified announced $15 million in new funding through a range of backers, including CI Financial, Windsor Private Capital, FirePower Capital and several private investors, the company said in a press release. In addition to connecting small business borrowers directly with working capital, Lendified collaborates with third-party financial services players, including banks, by providing Software-as-a-Service to enhance their own risk mitigation and small business lending processes. The company said it plans to use the investment to further build out its lending operations.


Aimed at consolidating spend across accounts payable, employee expenses and other processes, Airbase offers companies a way to manage and control the money that flows out of a business. In announcing its official launch this week, the company revealed that it raised $7 million in Series A funding, led by First Round Capital, while Maynard Webb, BoxGroup, Quiet Capital and Village Global also participated. In addition to consolidating corporate spend, Airbase links businesses with virtual Airbase Visa cards to replace physical cards, and integrates with bank and accounting systems for enhanced visibility and analytics.


Third Prime led an $8 million Series A funding round for Spur, an employment platform that helps companies manage their hourly workforce. With participation from Mark Bezos and Blue Ridge Capital Founder John Griffin, Spur offers human resources management and payroll solutions for businesses with high volumes of hourly workers. It also focuses on employee empowerment and well-being through a range of tools, including savings, healthcare, sick leave and faster payment services. The company said it will use the investment to focus on growth within the hospitality industry in particular, as well as expand its corporate and executive team.


Cryptocurrency compliance solutions provider Chainalysis said in a blog post this week that it has officially closed its Series B investment round, thanks to an additional $6 million provided by MUFG, Japan's largest bank, via its MUFG Innovation Partners venture capital unit. In total, the company secured $36 million in the round, led by a range of backers, including Sozo Ventures, Accel and Benchmark. The company plans to use the investment to collaborate with MUFG and Sozo, and promote growth.


While corporate purchasing software firm Negotiatus did not officially announce new funding, the firm did reveal a new partnership with B2B venture capitalist company Stage 2 Capital in an initiative to accelerate growth. The firm looked toward last year's institutional capital raise from 645 Ventures as an accelerant of product growth, and its plan to scale operations through this year to expand its services that allow companies to more quickly make purchases, streamline accounts payable, analyze spend and more.


Ethereum development studio ConsenSys announced plans to raise up to $200 million, according to unnamed sources in The Information this week, after a restructuring and round of layoffs that cut 13 percent of its staff. The company remains one of the largest cryptocurrency players in the U.S., reports noted, and saw more than $21 million in revenue last year through its enterprise consulting operations. The company is also reportedly seeking a $1 billion valuation, which some analysts have argued may be too high.



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