Small business lending emerged as a common theme in this week's B2B venture capital roundup, and it's no surprise, considering the role small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) play in supporting their local economies. Some startups focused on data aggregation to expand underwriting capabilities, while others operate platforms to facilitate financing. But it was a startup wielding the corporate card to enable digital lunch vouchers for employees that landed the largest round of the week.
Human resources and payroll technology startup Humi announced an $11 million funding round this week, according to BetaKit reports. Made up of equity and debt, the investment was led by Tribe Capital, and existing backers Struck Capital, Y Combinator and angel investors also participated in the Series A investment. Humi, which noted that the funding round began before the pandemic hit, said it will use the investment to further build out its software and develop new tools to streamline onboarding and task-tracking.
Utility account aggregation company Urjanet secured $14.65 million in Series D funding, the firm announced Tuesday (June 23), with investors that include Equifax and existing backers Oak HC/FT, Pete Kight, Grotech Ventures and Correlation Ventures. The company aims to expand the sources of data from which financial services providers can pull for underwriting and other services. In the company's funding announcement, Equifax president of United States Information Services Sig Singh said the firm is "erasing the problem of thin credit files or credit invisibility" to support access to financing for consumers and businesses. The firm also operates a utility bill capture for payments solution, which supports bill payment and streamlined accounts payable operations for corporates, it noted.
Based in France, Memo Bank announced a $22.5 million investment round this week. Memo, which first launched as Margo Bank, offered new details about its small business banking launch. The firm will focus on providing financial services to SMBs with at least €2 million in annual turnover, including a bank account and credit lines. Investors at BlackFin Capital Partners led the investment round, while existing backers Daphni and Bpifrance also participated, as did Founders Future and several angel investors.
Alphabet's private equity arm CapitalG led a $27.5 million round for India-based small business lending platform Aye Finance, the company recently revealed. Current investors from A91 Partners, MAJ Inevst, LGT Lightstone and Falcon Edge Capital also participated. In a statement, Aye Finance Managing Director Sanjay Sharma said the latest backing signals support for the firm's business model as borrowers begin to pick up repayment. The investment also comes as the company prepares to commence small business lending after pausing operations in March as a result of a national lockdown.
As a platform connecting Software as a Service (SaaS) companies to financiers, Pipe enticed investors to the tune of $60 million in equity and asset financing. The extended seed round will support the startup's recently-launched platform, which treats SaaS firms' subscriptions as an asset class that can be bought and sold on its portal. Fin VC led the latest investment, the company said in a press release, while Tribe Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures, Lachy Groom, Anthemis and existing investors Craft Ventures, Fika Ventures, and MaC Ventures also participated. Pipe said it plans to deploy the investment toward expansion into new markets, while KSD Capital also reportedly made a "significant commitment of capital" to the buy-side of Pipe's platform.
Landing the largest investment round of the week is Swile, a company that is using corporate cards to improve upon the legacy model of lunch vouchers for company employees. The firm notched $78.7 million in Series C funding led by Index Ventures, reports said, noting the round was closed earlier this year but not announced until this week. Previously named Lunchr, France-based Swile said it will use the investment to expand its B2B product offering into the corporate gift cards arena, another opportunity to use card technology to support businesses' employee benefits offerings.