Gusto’s payroll technology secured the largest investment round of the week with $200 million. But a closer look at the rest of the B2B funding market shows investors turned to FinTechs helping small businesses grow and operate across borders, with FX, cross-border payment, and trade finance solutions securing new funding. In all, more than $378 million in funding was placed at B2B FinTechs this week, and PYMNTS breaks it all down below.
The $2 million in new funding for dataPlor will help the company strengthen its operations in the small business digitization space. TechCrunch reported this week that the seed funding was led by Quest Venture Partners, while ffVC, Magma Partners, Sidekick Fund and the Blue Startups accelerator also participated. DataPlor operates a platform that targets small businesses in Latin America, enabling them to strengthen their online presence by gathering data about the business and licensing it to firms like PayPal and American Express. The solution heightens SMBs’ presence online and in search engine results like those of Google, reports noted.
London’s VertoFX operates a platform for businesses and banks to make cross-border payments and exchange foreign currency. With a focus on Africa, VertoFX also operates a subsidiary out of Nigeria and specializes in FX trading in uncommon currencies that traditional banks may not support, particularly currencies across Africa like Ethiopia’s Birr or Egypt’s pound. Enabling its business and bank clients to facilitate global B2B payments, VertoFX raised $2.1 million in seed funding led by Accelerated Digital Ventures, TechCrunch said this week, with plans for the company to deploy the funding toward platform development and obtaining licenses in new markets.
This U.K.-based startup landed $2.23 million by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding program, reports in EU Startups said this week. Hokodo aims to open up the B2B receivables insurance market for smaller businesses that can struggle to secure affordable deals from traditional brokerages. Using machine learning, Hokodo underwrites insurance for a single invoice, rather than firms’ entire turnover, and uses application programming interfaces (APIs) to analyze SMBs’ back-office data from a range of invoicing, accounting and other platforms. Hokodo plans to focus on European expansion with the latest injection of funding, reports said.
With home bases in both India and California, Drip Capital revealed this week a $25 million Series B funding round for its trade financing technology and solutions that help small business exporters manage working capital. This funding round was led by Accel, with participation from existing investors Sequoia India, Wing VC and Y Combinator, as well as new investors GC1 Ventures and Trusted Insight. The company plans to use the funding for geographic expansion in Southeast Asia and Latin America, financial product development, and bolstering staff levels in its engineering team, YourStory said.
India B2B payments startup PayMate announced $25 million in new funding, with the highlight of the story stemming from Visa’s participation in the round — the latest investment in B2B for the payments giant, which had previously struck a partnership with the startup. The Series D round, which also included funding from Recruit Strategic Partners, Brand Capital and others, will be used to help the company focus on expansion within India as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa with its small business-targeting accounts payable, supplier management, accounts receivable and other cash flow features.
While it’s not entirely clear how much India-based Zeta raised in its Series C investment round, reports in TechCrunch said it was less than $60 million, citing an unnamed source. The company is now valued at $300 million. The firm operates a neo-banking platform, helping banks enhance their commercial payments offering, while also targeting businesses directly with solutions to manage the money coming in and going out of their firms, including payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable. The funding from Sodexo BRS was the first external financing for the company, reports said.
Raising $62.26 million, U.K. challenger bank Atom Bank is reading to invest in its underlying technology, Reuters reported this week. The company focuses on consumer and small business banking and lending, offering a mobile banking platform. While the funding is impressive, the news of who provided the funding overshadowed Atom Bank’s backing: Woodford Patient Capital Trust, operated by fund manager Neil Woodford, participated in the round. Woodford is currently under fire for locking investors out of their savings and suspending his flagship equity income fund last month. In addition to the trust, reports said BBVA, Toscafund and funds advised by Perscitus LLP also participated in the Atom Bank investment.
One of the biggest round of the week goes to payroll company Gusto, which announced $200 million in Series D funding. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, as well as Fidelity Management & Research Co, led the investment, reports said, which will be used to propel Gusto’s presence on the East Coast. Targeting small and medium-sized businesses, Gusto enables SMBs to manage payroll and stay compliant with state-level labor laws. In addition to geographic expansion, Gusto plans to invest in its research and development team, the firm said. The company is now valued at $3.8 billion.