Logistics, Alt Lending Lead B2B Startup Funding

Logistics, Alt-Lending Lead B2B Startup Funding

The more than $1.593 billion raised by B2B startups this week showcases investors’ interest in business finance and payments. FinTechs that landed new funding include a firm targeting friction in B2B payments in the construction space, alternative small business lenders and a company helping accountants guide their SMB clients toward capital. But it was logistics that took home the largest investment rounds of the week, including a deal led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund for $1 billion.


Germany-based Mambu announced $34 million in new funding for its banking Software-as-a-Service solution, the company revealed. U.S. investors at Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, which will be used to focus on accelerating growth via sales and development initiatives. Action Capital, CommerzVentures, Point Nine Capital and Runa Capital also participated in the investment, separate reports said. Mambu links banks, lenders, FinTechs and other financial services players with a cloud-based core banking infrastructure.


Capitalise has announced a $4.6 million Series A funding round for its platform, which enables small business accountants to access analytics and resources to enhance their advisory services for small business clients. QED Investors led the round for the U.K. startup, while Hambro Perks and Gauss Ventures also participated. The company is looking to position the accountant as a key resource for small businesses seeking capital and struggling to wade through their choices, reports in Business Matters said this week. Capitalise said it plans to use the funding to expand its cloud-based platform and to invest in data science.


India’s BharatPe hasn’t technically closed the round yet, but reports in the Economic Times of India said the firm is readying the announcement of a $17 million investment led by Sequoia Capital India, unnamed sources told the publication. The investment could be the largest Series A funding round for an India-based startup, reports noted. The firm offers QR code payments technologies, enabling merchants to accept electronic payments, but the firm’s Co-founder and CEO Ashneer Grover told the publication that the company is looking to step into the B2B eCommerce market, “not in an inventory-led manner, but as a marketplace.”


Hong Kong-based Lalamove has secured $300 million in Series D funding, reports noted this week, as the on-demand logistics company aims to expand across Asia. Targeting business and corporate customers, Lalamove provides Uber-style, on-demand delivery and logistics services. Hillhouse Capital led the firm’s “D1” round, while Sequoia China led its “D2” raise. Eastern Bell Venture Capital, PV Capital, Shunwei Capital, Xiang He Capital and MindWorks Ventures all joined the investment, which will be used to expand both geographically and operationally by introducing new services, like financing packages to help drivers, reports said.


Lalamove wasn’t the largest funding round of the week – but that recognition lands with a logistics firm, too. Freight forwarding technology firm Flexport has secured $1 billion in new funding, led by SoftBank’s Visino Fund, reports in CNBC said Thursday. The company facilitates the movement of freight and handles packages and customs processes, while linking businesses to cost analysis, supply chain efficiency and other tools to enhance their operations.  Flexport aims to continue growth and customer acquisition efforts as it continues to compete against the likes of Amazon, which is also investing in its own B2B logistics offerings, reports said. Existing backers Founders Fund and DST Global also participated in the round.


With its sights set on the construction sector, Rabbet enables streamlined financing for businesses by using integrated machine learning to manage and analyze documents. The company plans to expand its software engineering and sales teams with its $8 million Series A funding round, announced this week, which saw participation from Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments group, as well as QED Investors and Camber Creek. According to the firm, Rabbet is also focused on providing operational efficiencies to accelerate payments within the construction space.


ZipLoan secured $12.5 million in Series B funding, reports in VCCircle said this week, with SAIF Partners leading the investment, which is made up of venture capital and growth equity funding. The company, based in India, operates an online loan platform targeting small and medium-sized businesses through partnerships with banks and non-bank financial companies. ZipLoan has created a proprietary risk analysis and scoring system, called ZipScore, to assess borrowers’ risk, while also linking lenders with loan lifecycle management solutions.


U.S.-based KyckGlobal announced the launch of its gig worker funds disbursement solution, while also revealing an $8 million funding round led by angel investors at TechOperators. In a press release, the company said it aims to help business owners pay their 1099 workers more quickly via its blockchain-based platform, which supports payments to gig workers via Same Day ACH, prepaid card, PayPal, bitcoin and other payment tools.


In another major investment for a B2B startup, U.K. alternative lender iwoca secured $194 million from Augmentum FinTech. The Series D round, which includes equity and debt capital, also saw participation from NIBC Bank and Prime Ventures. The company said it will use the funding to continue focusing on growth in the U.K., Germany and Poland as it strengthens its position as a small business lending platform. In its announcement, iwoca said it is on track to fund 100,000 small businesses in the next five years.


Offering companies a tool to mitigate against the risk of payment fraud, nsKnox, based in the U.S. and Israel, announced $15 million in Series A funding this week led by Viola Ventures and Microsoft’s M12. Discount Capital also participated, as did previous backers, the company said in its press release. The firm provides technology to mitigate against cyberattacks that can lead to corporate payments fraud, including social engineering attacks, cyber fraud and internal fraud. The company is targeting growth by collaborating with financial institutions to strengthen its offering. The investment will be used to focus on its go-to-market strategy, nxKnox noted.