The B2B FinTech market flexed its muscles this week, with investments landing at alternative small business lending, payroll and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). However, the big news includes the emergence of a new unicorn, as well as a B2B FinTech that — thanks to its latest funding — is now Europe's most valuable FinTech. Plus, Salesforce announced a new fund to propel funding for the B2B space. The latest in B2B FinTech investments is below.
Australian alternative small business lender Lumi announced $5.52 million in new funding this week, reports in Anthill said, following $21.72 million in funding late last year. The alternative lender aims to become Australia's second-largest small business lending platform, reports said, noting that family offices provided the investment, which was led and managed by Josh Liberman Investment Group. The company plans to continue to scale and grow origination volumes, as well as invest in its underlying technologies with the new funding.
On the other side of the world, Scotland's LendingCrowd announced a deal with Scottish Investment Bank and NIBC to raise about $24 million, which will be used to finance loans on the LendingCrowd platform. The small business lending portal targets borrowers in Scotland and the rest of Britain, reports in The Scotsman said this week. The deal marks the second agreement between LendingCrowd and Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise's investment arm.
Financial services software firm OpenFin received some high-profile backing this week, with Reuters noting that Wells Fargo and Barclays participated in the company's $17 million funding round. Existing backers JPMorgan Chase, Bain Capital Ventures and Pivot Investment Partners also participated. The New York and London-based company plans to use the funding to focus on sales, and the product development of its operating system that enables financial institutions to more easily upgrade their back-end computer apps — a particular pain point for banks that are increasingly partnering with FinTech firms to integrate their solutions, reports noted.
U.K. payment platform Modulr announced $17.7 million in new funding this week for its technology that powers transactions for other financial companies, including alternative lenders, accounting, online marketplaces and more. The firm announced the investment from Frog Capital, with existing backers at Blenheim Chalcot also participating. Reports said Modulr will deploy the funding to accelerate product development, with plans to add new payment types and functionality to its platform, as well as enter new verticals with its services.
Rooted in the payroll and employee financial wellness market, U.K.-based Wagestream announced $51 million in new funding, reports said. The company collaborates with employers, enabling employees to obtain a portion of their wages before payday for a flat fee. The company's Series A funding, led by Balderton and Northzone, with participation from Shawbrook Bank, is made up of equity and debt, report said. QED, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the London Co-Investment Fund and Village Global also participated. Wagestream plans to use the funding to continue expansion, as it eyes the broader European and U.S. markets.
Tiger Global Management and Ardian Growth led an equity investment round for enterprise spend management company Ivalua, which has propelled the FinTech to unicorn status. Reports this week said the company raised $60 million, a deal that sees Tiger Global Management obtaining a stake in the company. Ivalua plans to deploy the cash to accelerate growth and invest in organic product innovation. The firm is also eyeing global expansion, as well as possible M&A activity, reports said.
As if a new B2B FinTech unicorn weren't impressive enough, the $292 million funding round for cross-border invoicing and corporate payments company TransferWise has made the company the most valuable FinTech in Europe, according to reports this week. Lead Edge Capital, Lone Pine Capital and Vitruvian Partners led the round, while a slew of existing backers also participated. The funding follows just days after TransferWise announced a partnership with Wells Fargo to power inbound, cross-border corporate payments for the financial institution. TransferWise, based in the U.K., said it plans to use the funding to bring on even more investments for the company, and wield investors' industry know-how to propel growth for the company. The firm also plans to accelerate hiring.
The venture capital unit of Salesforce, Salesforce Ventures, announced a $125 million fund this week that will target European startups, particularly in the B2B SaaS space. According to a press release, the firm's new fund will add to the 50 startups across 13 European countries in which Salesforce has already invested.