B2B Payments

Southeast Asia Tips The B2B FinTech Funding Scales

With more than $1 billion raised — and more to come — this week became the most lucrative for B2B FinTech venture capital funding.

Southeast Asia led the way thanks to ridesharing firm Grab, which continues to expand its B2B financial services offering with its fundraising windfall — and it wasn’t the only small business lender to secure investment.

Digital Risks

InsurTech company Digital Risks announced $10.4 million in new funding for its technology targeting small businesses in the U.K. Reports in Verdict.co.uk said the company saw BHL Holdings lead the second Series A funding round, while Nire Capital and existing backers Concentric, Seedcamp and Beazley also participated. (Digital Risks’ first Series A round closed in 2018.) Digital Risks targets small businesses, startups and freelancers with subscription-based insurance products. Reports did not reveal exactly what the company plans to do with the new funding.

Sokowatch

B2B eCommerce startup Sokowatch scored a win for Kenya’s B2B FinTech community after raising $14 million in Series A funding, reports in TechCrunch said. The company targets informal retailers to connect sellers to vendors both locally and around the world. Offering a holistic solution, Sokowatch digitizes order management, supplier payments and logistics operations. Quona Capital led the company’s funding round, while Amplo, Breyer Capital, Vertex Ventures, Timon Capital and 4DX Ventures also participated. Sokowatch plans to use the funding to expand beyond Kenya, with reports noting that the company also has opportunities to broaden its product offering into areas like working capital financing with its data analytics capabilities.

Mbiz

Digital procurement startup Mbiz, based in Indonesia, is seeking to raise $20 million in Series B funding, according to Tech In Asia reports this week. The company plans to finalize the funding in the second quarter of 2020 as it looks to invest in its existing eProcurement platform and broaden its team, while also accelerating its strategic partnership efforts with eCommerce companies. According to reports, Mbiz will not yet look to expand throughout Southeast Asia, instead choosing to focus on the greenfield opportunity of eProcurement needs in Indonesia.

Flock Freight

California’s Flock Freight announced $50 million in Series B funding this week for its less-than-truckload and partial-truckload freight management technology. Led by SignalFire and GLP Capital Partners, the funding will be used to expand its FlockDirect solution, which uses proprietary algorithms to pool those partial and less-than truckload shipments into full truckload services for more optimized logistics, focusing on middle-market and large enterprise corporate customers.

Lendio

Utah’s Lendio secured $55 million in Series E funding, reports this week said, with the company planning to use the investment to strengthen its loan marketplace and introduce new B2B financial services like bookkeeping and other lender services. Mercato Partners’ Traverse Fund provided $31 million in equity. Existing backers Napier Park, Comcast Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Stereo Capital and Runa Capital also participated, while Signature Bank provided a $24 million debt facility, according to a press release.

BharatPe

In India, BharatPe is perhaps best known as a point-of-sale solution, enabling merchants to accept digital payments. But the company also connects those merchant clients to working capital solutions, and with $75 million in new funding, the company is likely to broaden its short-term small business lending operations as, according to TechCrunch, this part of the business generates the most revenue for the firm. Investors at Coatue Management led the Series C funding round, while existing backers Ribbit Capital, Steadview Capital and Insight Partners also participated.

Grab

In the largest funding round of the week, Grab, based in Singapore, announced $856 million in funds, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group providing more than $700 million for the company. Grab, best known for its on-demand ride-hailing service, has been expanding its financial services offerings through payments on the B2C side, as well as small business lending on the B2B side. With the new funding, Grab said it will further its expansion in Southeast Asia and broaden its financial services, including small business financing.

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