B2B Payments

B2B FinTechs Overcome Pandemic VC Slump

Talk of a venture capital plummet continues to grow, particularly in Europe, where new data from Consultancy Europe revealed that the number of venture capital deals for startups across the continent has declined every quarter since Q1 2019. The trend was exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, researchers noted, noting that only about half of the number of VC deals closed in Q2 2020 compared to Q1 2019.

The U.S., too, is experiencing a decline in venture capital funding, with investment hitting a seven-year low, the report found.

Nevertheless, this week's B2B venture capital roundup found some healthy investment for startups in both Europe and the U.S., with total funding nearly reaching $391.25 million this week. PYMNTS breaks down the investment activity below.

Candis

In Germany, Candis, a B2B platform to automate accounting and payments for businesses, announced a $15.8 million investment round led by Viola Ventures and Rabo Frontier Ventures. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Point Nine Capital, Speedinvest and 42CAP were also among the existing investors that participated in this round, which Candis said will go toward the enhancement of its machine learning capabilities, and to expand further across Europe. Reports in FINSMES noted the firm is focused on automating accounting tasks and B2B payment workflows for middle-market organizations, while also connecting those users to real-time analytics.

Buckle

New Jersey's Buckle is an InsurTech company focused on arming the gig economy, including rideshare providers, with access to total insurance coverage. The company recently disclosed a $31 million Series A investment round led by HSCM Bermuda and Eos Venture Partners, which follows its previous acquisition of Gateway Insurance Co. earlier this year. With the latest funding, Buckle has expanded its target customer base to include transportation network companies and other service providers in the transportation arena including taxi and limo services. The firm said it will funnel the new investment into product development, partnerships, and national growth.

Thriver

The $33 million in Series B funding for Toronto-based Thriver will be used to help expand the company and its platform into new markets. The startup, formerly named Platterz, connects corporates to solutions to bring food and culture to their own employees regardless of location, enabling workplace meal ordering, health and wellness solutions and other features. Investors at Viola Growth led the Series B round, which also saw participation from new investors Vertex Ventures Israel, Union Tech Ventures, Journey Ventures and FJ Labs. Existing backers Aleph and Altair Capital provided funding as well, the company noted, adding that it will also be expanding its team with the new investment.

Volante Technologies

With $35 million in new funding, Volante Technologies will be accelerating its cloud expansion across borders and industries. The company offers payments and financial messaging solutions as a cloud-based-payments-as-a-service firm, enabling organizations and financial institutions to promote digitization and modernization in their own payments operations. The growth equity financing was led by Wavecrest Growth Partners, while BNY Mellon, Citi Ventures, PostePay and Visa Inc. also participated.

Iwoca

One of the largest investment rounds this week landed at U.K.-based small business lending platform iwoca, which secured $131.45 million in funding as it positions itself to support small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) through increased access to the U.K.'s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).  The company did not divulge details as to when it secured the investment, or from whom, but instead chose to focus on its efforts to support small business recovery and accelerating access to capital for struggling firms.

Rippling

The leading B2B startup this week is Rippling, a company launched by the former co-founder of Zenefits. Rippling offers businesses a human resources platform with integrated payroll functionality and a focus on managing employee data. The company expands its product features through third-party integrations, allowing business users to add new tools and apps that connect to the portal.

Rippling recently announced a $145 million Series B funding round, raising the firm's valuation to $1.35 billion, it said. Investors at Founders Fund led the investment, while Greenoaks Capital, Coatue Management and Bedrock Capital also participated. Existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Initialized Capital, and Y Combinator provided investment as well. The company said the funding will fuel its R&D efforts.

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