Reports earlier this week in the Financial Times revealed that global venture capital funding dropped 13 percent to $6.3 billion for the first three months of the year, though the number of deals increased to 445, compared to the first quarter of 2018. China saw a particularly dramatic decline in VC funding, though India and markets across Europe were able to secure investor attention for the quarter.
This week, the B2B FinTech startup space bucked any notion of a VC downturn with several high-value deals, and one of the busiest VC investment roundup weeks for the B2B space so far this year. Below, PYMNTS breaks down how more than $516 million in venture capital was spread across B2B FinTech firms.
Japan’s Recruit, the holding company of Glassdoor and Indeed, announced a $250,000 investment in blockchain startup COTI, according to reports in Ledger Insights this week. Recruit issued the investment via its RSP Blockchain Tech Fund, with COTI marking its second investment. The Israel-based company focuses on providing enterprises with blockchain-powered, decentralized payment platforms, and operates its COTI Pay solution, enabling companies to white label digital wallets. Reports did not indicate how COTI plans to use the funding.
Canada’s Webware.io provides small businesses (SMBs) with a holistic digital toolkit to promote their ability to operate online via eCommerce, social media, email marketing, SEO and other digital resources. The company announced in a press release that it raised $2 million, led by Mossco Capital Founder and CEO Moss Kadey. Webware.io plans to focus on market growth across North America, and further strengthen its small business platform.
Supply chain management technology startup Specright secured $8.8 million in Series A funding, the company said this week, led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital. Okapi Venture Capital, Fika Ventures and Mucker Capital also participated. Specright said it plans to use the investment to expand its staff levels, and grow operations globally to broaden the reach of its Specification Data Management software. The company provides businesses with the ability to manage supply chain specifications, including packaging, raw materials and products, which, the company said, are often managed via inefficient spreadsheets.
Corporate travel management platform Pana revealed $10 million in Series A funding, reports in Phocuswire said this week. The U.S. company saw the investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, while Techstars, MergeLane and Matchstick Ventures also participated. Since the firm’s launch, Pana has pivoted to target travel managers at large and small businesses, and has built up its supplier partnerships to boost the efficiency of the business travel booking process.
Germany-based FreightHub has raised $30 million in Series B funding, reports said this week, led by Rider Global. The logistics startup provides a digital freight-forwarding service to corporate customers, connecting them to sea, air and rail freight services, as well as digital supply chain optimization, document management, booking, communication and data exchange capabilities. Rider Global was joined by A.P. Moller-Maersk’s corporate venture arm Maersk Growth, while existing backers Northzone, Global Founders Capital and Cherry Ventures also participated.The funding will be used by FreightHub to focus on further development of its digital services, and to expand across Asia, the company said.
Washington state-based Zenoti offers a cloud-based business management platform for the beauty and wellness industry, and its technology has captured attention from Tiger Global Management, which led a $50 million Series C funding round. A press release issued this week said Norwest Venture Partners and Accel also participated in the investment, which Zenoti said it plans to use to focus on geographic expansion, and hire new talent. The company, which targets spa and salon chains, aims to reshape and digitize the sector by offering a single platform that helps business owners manage customers, and improve operational efficiencies.
The $65.16 million in new funding for U.K.-based Ordo will be used to help the company in continuing to promote the growth of its invoicing and accounts receivable solution. Nationwide Building Society provided the investment, a press release said, with the financial institution noting that Ordo is a natural fit for its portfolio as a company that helps businesses manage finances. Nationwide plans to launch an SMB banking solution later this year, though it is unclear whether the Ordo investment means the company will integrate the Ordo invoicing tool into its own offering.
Marking one of the largest investment rounds for a B2B startup this week, India-based logistics company BlackBuck secured $150 million in Series D funding from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Accel, while B Capital and Sequoia Capital also participated, reported The Economic Times. BlackBuck provides supply chain management and inner-city trucking solutions to its corporate users, and said it plans to use the investment to add new trucking partners to its platform, expand to new geographic markets and invest in its data science capabilities. The company focuses on reducing idle time for fleet owners by boosting the digitization and efficiency of the truck-load logistics sector. Reports noted that the firm is also looking to address the many points of friction in India’s trucking and logistics sector, which is highly fragmented and mostly made up of small fleet owners.
Corporate expense management company Divvy took the lead this week with a $200 million funding round, its third in less than a year, Forbes said. NEA led the Series C investment for the Utah-based firm, which provides SMBs with expense management solutions, and an integrated virtual card tool to capture and manage employee spend. The funding was also provided by existing backers Pelion Venture Partners and Insight Venture Partners.
Via press release, Fractal Labs said this week that Deloitte has invested in the company — though the firms remained mum on exactly how much was raised. Fractal Labs operates an API platform for financial institutions to support small business financial services, and expand SMB financing. In addition to the investment, Deloitte has integrated Fractal Labs’ AI intelligence API into its accounting software. Fractal Labs said the funding will accelerate its growth, support the expansion of its team and allow it to become more agile in an ever-evolving small business financial services market.
Another investment round that stayed secret was that of Magaya, a U.S.-based supply chain management software provider that announced backing from LLR Partners this week. Magaya provides warehousing, cargo and supply chain management solutions to corporate customers, with a focus on automation for freight forwarders, wholesalers, distributors and third-party logistics companies. The funding will support the firm’s expansion of its product offerings and market presence, a press release said.
In non-venture capital investment news, California’s Wave Financial received an investment from Fineqia International, with its subsidiary Fineqia Investments taking an equity stake in the blockchain company. Wave provides treasury management and strategy consulting services to organizations, providing them with guidance on blockchain adoption, a press release said.