B2B Payments

Challenger Banks Raise The Stakes (And The Cash)

Challenger Banks Raise The Stakes (And The Cash)

With $68 million in combined venture capital funding, this week's B2B FinTech investments are certainly not the highest they've been, but considering the current market, the latest rounds remain impressive nonetheless.

Challenger banks targeting small businesses with a range of digital-native services became a bright spot in this week's roundup, though logistics and expense management also landed on the board. It was a niche B2B eCommerce platform for the architecture and design arena, however, that landed the most funding. PYMNTS breaks down all the latest deals below.


Logistics and freight technology startup Nuvocargo issued a press release announcing $5.3 million in seed funding from NFX and ALLVP. Additional investors included One Way Ventures, Maya Capital, Magma Partners and others. The company offers a digital freight forwarding and customs brokerage service to help shippers coordinate cross-border goods transport between the U.S. and Mexico. Nuvocargo plans to expand its capabilities to enable shipping throughout Latin America, and said it will deploy the funding to expand its teams in the U.S. and Mexico.


U.S.-based challenger banks are few and far between. Wise is one of them, and reports said the company has just secured $5.7 million in seed funding led by Base10 Partners. Abstract Ventures, Backend Capital, The Fund and Two Culture Capital also participated. Targeting small and medium-sized businesses, Wise offers checking accounts, Visa debit card push payments, bank transfers, check payments, invoicing and a Wise Card reader to help SMBs pay and get paid. The company aims to differentiate itself by offering services beyond standard banking, including accounting and payroll capabilities. Wise didn't reveal exactly what it plans to do with the funding.


Netherlands-based challenger bank Finom is gearing up to launch its financial services offerings for small and medium-sized businesses, with about $7 million in seed funding now secured. Investors at Target Global led the round, while General Catalyst, FJ Labs and other investors also participated, per reports. Finom said it would deploy the investment to further build out its SMB banking offerings and to fuel its expansion throughout Europe, with plans to expand in France, Italy and Germany later this year. With its mobile-first offering, Finom offers small businesses a bank account, accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) solutions, money transfers and virtual card solutions.


With $22 million in Series B funding, B2B FinTech Digits is ready for its debut. The company announced the investment in conjunction with the official launch of its operations, helping small businesses to intelligently manage their finances by integrating with the platforms and bank accounts they already use across banking, payroll, accounting and other services. GV led the Series B investment, which also coincides with the rollout of Digits for Expenses, an expense management dashboard for business users that leverages machine learning to manage spend in real time.

Material Bank

While not a bank in the traditional sense, Material Bank operates as a technology and logistics firm connecting professionals in the architecture industry to an eCommerce portal to procure materials, including paint, flooring and textiles. The company said in a press release that it raised $28 million in Series B funding for its B2B solution, making it the leader of this week's venture capital roundup. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, while existing investors Raine Ventures and Barry Sternlicht also participated. With the fresh capital, Material Bank plans to expand into new product categories and build a robotics logistics facility to keep pace with growing demand and to connect corporate buyers and vendors in the architecture industry.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.