With the holiday season wrapped, venture capitalists are gradually returning from a bit of a break in the B2B FinTech funding front.
While this week saw fewer funding deals on the books, analysts pointed to a busy year for investors, particularly in India. According to TechCrunch reports, citing Tracxn data, the nation saw $14.5 billion in technology startup funding in 2019, a new record for the market and almost $4 billion higher than it saw in 2018.
India’s hot streak in FinTech funding continued this week, with three of the six deals announced for the space stemming from the country — including this week’s largest round in an alternative small business lender. In all, B2B FinTechs secured more than $33.5 million in new funding, with PYMNTS breaking down the latest rounds below.
India’s FarmERP announced the closure of its series A funding round, Inc42 reported, with Singapore-based Technogen leading the round. FarmERP offers enterprise resource planning technology to the agriculture and farming sector, and it currently operates in 25 countries. While it did not disclose how much it raised, the company said it plans to funnel the new funding into investments in artificial intelligence to help its business users mitigate climate risks and improve sustainability, with FarmERP looking to further geographic expansion moving forward.
U.S.-based CollBox announced a $1 million seed round this week, with Bala Investments leading the round, and Long View Technology Ventures, Capital Factory and the Alamo Angel Network also participating. CollBox offers small businesses an accounts receivable solution that monitors cash in-flows and helps businesses recover funds on outstanding invoices. In a statement, CEO and Co-founder Cameron Desautels said the investment will enable the company to “run faster” and fuel its partnerships with other accounting and bookkeeping service providers as the company focuses on data integrations with the likes of Xero, QuickBooks and others.
U.K. alternative small business lender B-North announced it has reached its $2.23 million crowdfunding goal, with 12 more days to go. Reports in EU-Startups said new and existing backers provided the funding via equity crowdfunding sites, including Growthfunders and Crowdcube. The company said it plans to deploy the funding to further expand its existing workforce and build out its infrastructure as it gears up to launch its “lending pods” across Manchester in the second quarter of this year. Those lending pods aim to connect local small businesses to experts able to assess businesses’ borrowing needs.
Cybersecurity startup RunSafe Security, based in the U.S., revealed a $6.3 million series A funding round, IBS Intelligence reported, with Alsop Louie Partners leading the investment. New backers Working Lab Capital, Inner Loop Capital and Renegade Ventures also participated in the round, reports said. RunSafe noted it will deploy the funding for sales and marketing initiatives, as well as product development. The company operates Moving Target Defense and runtime application self-protection technology to safeguard company systems and prevent any attack from spreading across multiple devices in a single network.
India-based logistics startup XpressBees secured a high-profile funding round this past week with investors at Alibaba providing $10 million in the firm. Reports said the funding is likely an extension of XpressBees’ 2017 series D funding round, in which Alibaba invested $35 million, and reflects the continued strength and growth of India’s logistics sector, with other players in the industry including Delhivery, BlackBuck and Rivigo also having secured new funding in recent months.
Also in India, Aye Finance secured more than $14 million in debt funding led by BlueOrchard, reports said this week. The startup plans to deploy the funding to expand its small business loan portfolio across India as it aims to fill the lending gap to micro and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the country. The funding marked the sixth round of investment for BlueOrchard in Aye Finance, the company said.