Payroll, Accounting FinTechs Capture VCs’ Attention

Payroll Payments

B2B FinTech funding is gearing up to keep its venture capital funding ball rolling. Most recently, Stage 2 Capital announced the launch of an $80 million Fund II, which will focus on B2B software startups. In the meantime, the B2B space has welcomed a new unicorn and seen several major investment rounds in the last week across accounting, payroll and more.


Accounting technology startup Lockstep, based in Washington state, did not reveal how much it secured from Amex Ventures, but noted the funding closed out its Series A+ round that brings the total raised by the startup to $17 million. The company integrates with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other accounting solutions to automate various workflows to optimize B2B payment flows in accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) and support working capital and cash flow management. Lockstep did not reveal what it plans to do with the latest funding.


Dubai’s Splyr announced a $500,000 funding round for its B2B eMarketplace solution. Quality & Saving Center provided the investment, reports said, noting that the FinTech aims to use the funding to expand geographically and launch in new markets including Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


Nigeria’s Omnibiz has raised $3 million for its B2B supply chain management technology that targets the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. Its B2B eCommerce solution attracted the seed funding from V&R Africa, Timon Capital and Tangerine Insurance, while Lofty Inc., Musha Ventures, Sunu Capital, Launch Africa and Rising Tide Africa all participated. The company said it will use the funding to expand geographically throughout Nigeria and broader West Africa and to introduce new product categories including over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and alcoholic beverages.


U.K.-based Comma has stepped into the B2B payments market with a focus on bulk payments. Investors at Octopus Ventures and Connect Ventures have placed about $6 million in the company for its latest funding round, which also saw participation from Village Global and others. TechCrunch reported that the startup, which targets micro and small businesses with technology that uses their existing business bank accounts to facilitate bulk payments, can streamline payments to pay bills, payroll and taxes while integrating into accounting platforms already in the back office. The company did not disclose how it plans to use the funding.


Based in Hong Kong, Currenxie offers a cross-border business payments and business account offering. The company revealed a $10 million Series A funding round this week, led by the BF Belmont family office. With a mix of digital wallets, bank accounts, payments and foreign exchange services, Currenxie targets businesses with global operations in need of financial management tools. The firm said it plans to use the funding to support its pursuit of an eMoney license in Ireland as it expands globally — the firm already secured a money service operating license in Hong Kong.

Car IQ

The $15 million in Series B funding for California’s Car IQ was the result of an oversubscribed round. Forté Ventures led its latest investment. Ally Ventures, BlackBerry Limited, State Farm Ventures and TELUS Ventures alongside existing backers Alpana Ventures, Avanta Ventures, Citi Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and Scrum Ventures also participated. Car IQ operates a contactless payment solution integrated into cars and trucks that can be used for a variety of use cases, including fueling and parking. While the solution can be used for consumers, Car IQ said it is also targeting fleet owners to streamline commercial fleet payments.


Knowde secured one of the largest B2B FinTech funding rounds of this week to the tune of $72 million, perhaps a testament to investors’ interest in industry-specific solutions. Knowde operates a B2B eMarketplace for the chemicals and ingredients industry, consolidating product catalogues and descriptions to streamline procurement. The Series B funding was led by Coatue. Exiting investors Sequoia Capital, Refactor Capital, Bee Partners and Cantos Ventures returned while new backers also participated, according to a press release. Knowde said it will deploy the funding to invest in product development and introduce new features for both buyers and sellers on its platform. It also plans to expand geographically across borders.


The B2B FinTech community welcomed its latest unicorn this week thanks to a $130 million funding round in cloud accounting platform FreshBooks. The company, which is now valued at more than $1 billion, saw the Series E funding from Accomplice, with participation from J.P. Morgan, Gaingels, BMO and Manulife, while Barclays signed on as its newest investor. FreshBooks said it will use the investment to fuel sales, research and development, marketing and strategic acquisitions.


It’s unclear exactly when the round closed, but a $175 million investment in payroll and human resources technology platform Gusto has propelled the company’s valuation to $9.5 billion. T. Rowe Price led the investment while Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Generation and General Catalyst also participated. The funding follows recent acquisitions for the firm and will likely lead to additional acquisitions. Gusto is currently preparing for an IPO sometime next year.