Today in PYMNTS’ data, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have won the alternative financial venture capital (VC) funding rounds, millions of SMBs are in operation in the U.S. — and they all have very different needs, artificial intelligence (AI) firms are receiving major backing, industry experts share what 2017 meant to them and international payments firms have plans to expanded into new markets.
Here are the numbers:
$77 million | Amount raised by alternative financial companies this week in PYMNTS’ SMB finance roundup. The VC funding, which accounted for nearly 70 percent of total funds raised by B2B FinTech startups this week, proves investors aren’t ready to give up on alternative lending just yet. The biggest winner of the week shows backers are looking at startups that offer more than SMB finance — and they understand that lending is just part of a holistic B2B payments service.
30 million | Higher end estimation of the number of SMBs in operation in the U.S. today, according to the United States Small Business Administration. The organization’s statistics note there are between 28 million and 30 million such companies currently doing business, and there are far more differences between them than there are similarities. Those differences can make it a challenge to operate SMB-facing businesses.
$17 million | Amount raised by AI-powered services firm Kasisto, which the company plans to use to scale its business, deepen existing B2B partnerships and introduce new products. The Series B funding round was led by Oak HC/FT and saw participation from Mastercard, Propel Venture Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Partnership Fund for New York City.
30 | The number of payments industry experts polled for their insights for PYMNTS’ end-of-the-year eBook. PYMNTS asked each of the 30 experts how they would characterize 2017 and received 30 different responses — proving the answer is all about perspective. One thing was evident, though, and that’s that change was everywhere this year. As Jeremy Gumbley, CTO of Creditcall, said, “Nearly every aspect of our industry has undergone some level of change, improvement, enhancement or replacement.”
21 | The number of markets into which international payments solution provider Flywire is looking to expand, according to Mike Massaro, the company’s CEO. Massaro said that engaging with regulators will become a key part of its focus in 2018, helping them understand the specific nature of the cross-border services they provide while also remaining compliant with each local, in-country regulatory framework.