B2B Payments

Small Business InsurTech Finds The Next Unicorn

venture capital funding startups

After one of the busiest weeks of the year for B2B startup venture capital funding, this week revealed a bit of a lull in the market. Still, investors placed more than $368 million into the space, often in the form of Series B rounds for a range of B2B players, including fleet management, small business (SMB) banking and global payments. It was an SMB InsurTech startup, however, that led this week’s roundup, and brought the market its newest unicorn.

Avrios

Fleet management startup Avrios, based in Germany, raised $14.2 million in Series B funding, EU-Startups reported this week. Led by Swisscom Ventures and Edenred Capital Partners, the funding saw participation from existing backers Lakestar and Notion Capital as well, while Columbia Lake Partners also provided funds. Avrios said it will use the investment to further develop its fleet management platform that supports employees’ mobility needs. Targeting the middle market and large corporates, the company provides data analytics automation for fleet managers to obtain a holistic overview of operations, including mileage, damage, compliance, lease costs and more.

Emplify

U.S.-based employee engagement platform Emplify announced $15 million in new funding, led by Edison Partners, a press release said this week. Allos Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Mark Hill, Gutbrain Ventures’ Bob Davoli and 4G Ventures’ Bill Godfrey also participated. Emplify operates a solution, using human data analytics from employee surveys, to assess employer performance, and provide insights into improvements. The company plans to deploy its new funding to strengthen its core product offering, as well as to invest in sales and marketing.

XTransfer

Based in China, XTransfer provides cross-border financial services for Chinese companies trading on a global scale. The firm announced via press release this week a $15 million Series B-1 venture capital round, led by eWTP Fund, while China Merchants Capital, 01VC, Yunqi Partners and Gaorong Capital participated as well. XTransfer said it plans to deploy the funding to invest in expanding its global financial network, and apply for licenses in new geographic markets. The company also plans to invest in marketing, its team and technology upgrades. XTransfer already operates in China, Hong Kong, the U.K., Canada, the U.S., Japan and Australia, allowing Chinese SMBs to trade globally by providing local collection, payments, lending, foreign exchange and other treasury management offerings.

Celigo

A press release issued by Celigo announced the company’s $20 million Series B investment round. The firm, based in California, offers businesses and their IT departments an integration-Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) solution to support corporates’ shift to the cloud, and integrate various back-office applications into each other. Investors at NewSpring led this round, while Blossom Street Ventures and TVC Capital also participated. Celigo said it plans to use the new funding to invest in product development and global expansion.

Tide

U.K. challenger bank Tide secured $54.3 million in Series B funding, which the firm announced this week via blog post, with funding led by The SBI Group and Augmentum Fintech. Tide said it plans to deploy the capital to strengthen its share of the U.K. small business banking market, as well as invest in international expansion. The venture capital is part of Tide’s commitment to raise funds after securing a portion of RBS grant money via its partner ClearBank. In a statement. Tide CEO Oliver Prill said the new funding “underlines how far the business has come in a short time. We believe this is one of the largest Series B rounds ever secured by a U.K. FinTech company.” He also pointed to the “oligopoly that has dominated and failed [SMBs] for too long,” and the opportunity for Tide to deploy the investment to boost competition in the SMB banking sector.

Next Insurance

InsurTech startup Next Insurance announced $250 million in fresh funding, according to reports in Insurance Journal, provided by Munich Re as the sole investor. Based in California, Next Insurance said its Series C investment will go toward scaling up its small business insurance offerings, and adding to its customer base. The funding is the largest in this week’s B2B Venture Capital roundup, and propels the firm’s valuation beyond $1 billion. As a licensed insurance carrier, Next Insurance offers proprietary policies for SMBs with a focus on connecting small businesses to property and casualty insurance products.

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