B2B Payments

Visa’s X-Border Investment Leads Week Of B2B Funding

The most high-profile B2B FinTech investment this week went to cross-border payments technology firm Currencycloud, thanks to Visa’s participation in an $80 million funding round. But it wasn’t the only company to score new funding, with investors placing funds in an array of B2B startups including logistics and blockchain.

Axle

Targeting the road freight and trucking industry, Axel offers businesses a factoring solution, and has just announced a $1.4 million funding round for its offering. The pre-seed investment was provided by Trucks Venture Capital, the company said, and will be used to expand its team of transportation and finance experts as the company targets small trucking firms.

Investors at Plug and Play Ventures, 37 Angels, Fontinalis Partners and Techstars also participated, the alternative finance provider said. In a statement, Axle CEO and Co-Founder Bharath Krishnamoorthy noted, “It’s difficult for small businesses to finance their operations and growth today. We want to do everything we can to get them on the same footing as their larger competitors.”

SettleMint

Belgium’s SettleMint operates in the blockchain-as-a-service market, connecting other businesses to distributed ledger technology to promote enterprise digitization. Reports in Silicon Angle said the company raised $2.1 million from KPM Ventures and Medici Ventures, which will go toward the company’s focus on geographic expansion in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

The company aims to connect developers to blockchain technology that is infrastructure-agnostic, reports said, with Co-Founder and Chief Executive Matthew Van Niekerk telling the platform, “When you recognize the benefits of this technology for the economy and for society, you have a moral obligation to make it easy for developers to use, to accelerate adoption.”

Shipmax

Logistics and freight forwarding startup Shipmax, based in the U.K., announced a $7 million funding round this week led by Mosaic Ventures, while Crane Venture Partners, Y Combinator and existing backers also participated, according to TechCrunch.

Shipmax offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for players in the logistics industry to automate their back office operations, with the company finding new value-added opportunities in wielding the data of its product. The company integrates with email inboxes and other sources of unstructured data, including email attachments, to categorize that information and automatically enter it into its data feed via API. The solution streamlines digitization in areas including invoice processing, bills of lading management, order management and other document-heavy operations.

Bizongo

India’s Bizongo operates a B2B online marketplace for companies to manage their product packaging needs, and investors just placed their support in the technology with a $30 million round of funding, TechCrunch reported recently.

The Series C investment was led by Schroder Adveq, while existing backers B Capital, Acel, Chiratae Ventures and IFC also participated. In addition to connecting small businesses with an online platform to procure and sell packaging materials, Bizongo also operates a packaging design and development offering. With the new funding, the company said it plans to invest in its underlying technological infrastructure and expand into new industries, including the pharmaceutical space, as it grows across India.

Currencycloud

Cross-border B2B payments technology company Currencycloud scored a high-profile investment this week from Visa in its $80 million Series E round. The U.K. company also saw backing from the International Finance Corp., Siam Commercial Bank, BNP Paribas and SBI Group, while existing investors Nation Capital, Sapphire Ventures and GV also participated. Currencycloud plans to deploy the funding to strengthen its technology portfolio and expand its partnership network, while also focusing on software integrations and the introduction of new payment methods including mobile wallets, real-time payments and cards.

The company operates several APIs that enable other financial service providers to integrate Currencycloud’s global payment capabilities. In a statement, CEO Mark Laven said, “Transfer of value is fast becoming the newest layer in the modern technology stack, and Currencycloud is positioned to provide the infrastructure to make this happen. With these new strategic investors, we are well placed to be the go-to provider for the next wave of FinTech innovation.”

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LATEST PYMNTS REPORT: MARCH 2020 B2B API TRACKER  

B2B APIs aren’t just for large enterprises anymore — middle-market firms and SMBs now realize their potential for enabling low-cost access to real-time payments and account data. But those capabilities are only the tip of the API iceberg, says HSBC global head of liquidity and cash management Diane Reyes. In this month’s B2B API Tracker, Reyes explains how the next wave of banking APIs could fight payments fraud and proactively alert middle-market treasurers to investment opportunities.

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