The current volatile business and economic climate is sure to have an impact on venture capital, but new analysis suggests startups shouldn't fret too much about their investment prospects.
While a challenging road lies ahead, venture capitalists (VCs) are cooperating in a slew of new initiatives designed to support the startup community as coronavirus uncertainty compounds. Recent reports in TechCrunch noted Luma Launch investor Laurent Grill is working to coordinate the venture capital community to ensure investment deals continue to flow and startups know where to turn to when they're ready to raise capital.
However, Luma Launch itself admitted to the publication it will focus on managing its current portfolio of startups rather than making any new near-term investment deals.
Separate reports from CNBC this week highlighted an emerging limbo for startups and investors as VCs press pause on their funding plans while they wait for the volatility to subside.
"I don't see too many term sheets being issued in the next two to three weeks until there's more clarity," Propel Ventures General Partner Ryan Gilbert told the publication.
This week's rundown of B2B FinTech funding deals saw more than $76 million in fresh funding. It's unclear what the future holds for B2B startups, but for now, investors appear to remain optimistic about the sector — even for companies based in some of the markets hardest-hit by the coronavirus.
With $3.2 million in new funding, corporate card startup Payhawk, based in Bulgaria with operations in Germany and the U.K., will look to augment its paperless corporate card offering designed to ease employee spend and expense management friction. Earlybird's Digital East Fund led the seed round, while TinyVC and several other individuals participated, reports in EU-Startups said, adding that Payhawk plans to use the investment to expand in Germany. The company connects businesses to a range of corporate card-linked solutions aimed at streamlining employee spending and invoice payments, reporting, spend controls and analytics, with transaction data able to integrate seamlessly with businesses' existing bank accounts.
Also securing $3.2 million this week was Fiscozen, an Italian startup that offers a platform for small businesses and freelancers to manage operations like bookkeeping and tax management, as well as to access advisory services. Investors at United Ventures led the Series A funding round, while seed and angel investors also participated. Reports said Fiscozen plans to use the investment to expand its reach to more business customers and further build out its platform.
Germany's Penta announced a $19.8 million funding round this week, reports in TechCrunch said, with the small business banking startup securing the investment from RTP Global. Existing investor HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, ABN AMRO Ventures, VR-Ventures and Finleap also participated. Penta recently expanded its operations into Italy as it looks to connect small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with financial services to grow their businesses by working directly with SMBs, as well as collaborating with traditional players like BBVA.
Online enterprise debt platform and direct lender Vivriti Capital announced $50 million in Series B funding from LGT Lightstone Aspada, VCCircle reported. The India-based company secured the investment about one year after raising funding from U.S.-based backers. Vivriti Capital said it will deploy the newest investment toward its technological and analytics capabilities, as well as for strengthening its balance sheet for business lending operations. In addition to operating as a direct lender, the startup also works with other investors to provide underwriting and automation tools for their own lending operations.