It was one of the biggest weeks for B2B FinTech investment in months. Alternative lending, eProcurement and cross-border payments innovators all saw impressive activity (though several funding values remained private), and one single startup raised $165 million — more than the rest of the eight other funding rounds this week combined.
The eProcurement services of Tradeshift attracted IT and consulting firm Wipro, which announced Monday (Jan. 30) that, not only has it invested in the company, it’s also collaborating with it to develop holistic source-to-pay solutions. Wipro didn’t disclose how much it invested in Tradeshift, though, but noted that the funding was provided through Wipro’s venture capital unit, Wipro Ventures, and will be used by Tradeshift to continue to develop its B2B applications in the eProcurement and eCommerce spaces.
Bridge Bank provided $4 million in funding to BuyerQuest, a U.S.-based procure-to-pay platform that aims to link companies with a consumer-like eCommerce experience in the procurement department. The investment, announced Wednesday (Feb. 1), was provided by Bridge Bank’s Technology Finance Group in the form of venture debt.
In what was the largest venture capital funding round of the week by far, Tricentis reportedly raised $165 million from backers of its software testing services — investment that analysts say will help the startup gain footing in a competitive market dominated by Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Tricentis secured the Series B funding from Insight Venture Partners and occurred about a week before reports first surfaced of the investment round.
From Australia, Spotcap, which provides digital SME lending solutions, announced Tuesday (Jan. 31) a nearly $14.6 million investment round led by Heartland Bank. Reports said Spotcap has already lent more than $25 million to Australian small businesses and saw impressive 450 percent year-over-year growth in 2016. Heartland Bank, meanwhile, hopes working with Spotcap will help it gain exposure to the small business lending landscape in both New Zealand and Australia.
February kicked off with new funding for LendingFront, a small business marketplace lending platform, led by Las Olas Venture Capital. The firms kept the price tag of the funding private, but LendingFront said it will use the backing to strengthen its solution, which uses continuous integrated monitoring of business lifecycles to mitigate borrower risk.
With a focus in supply chain finance, Crossflow Payments announced its own investment — though not in the form of venture capital — from Calibrate Management, which will now take a minority stake in the company. Crossflow Payments provides an alternative finance platform for businesses to connect their suppliers to supply chain financing services. The companies also didn’t disclose the value of the investment, but Crossflow did say it will be used to fuel its “ambitious growth strategy.”
New Zealand’s Latipay announced a $3 million investment on Wednesday (Feb. 1) as it looks to build its cross-border payments presence across New Zealand and Australia, according to reports. The firm also has plans to enter the U.S. and Singapore markets. The funding will help Latipay’s lofty goal of being “on par with PayPal, Stripe and Square,” according to the company’s chief executive, Leigh Flounders. Jubilee Capital Management, based in Singapore, led the funding.
While BitPesa first emerged in the African market to rival its better-known peer, MPesa, targeting the mobile payments industry, BitPesa recently released its own B2B payments solution to help companies across Africa trade with suppliers and business partners in other areas of the world. BitPesa secured $2.5 million in Series A funding, reports said this week, with Draper VC, Greycroft LLC and other existing investors leading the round. BitPesa’s payments solutions are fueled by bitcoin, the company explained, and uses the cryptocurrency to support cross-border B2B payments. The company currently operates in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, with its B2B solution capable of supporting payments to China, the U.K. and the U.S.
What would tax season be without investors opening up their wallets to tax filing startups? Taxfyle announced a $2 million seed funding round led by Jeff Ransdell Group and Jonas Tempel, reports said Thursday (Feb. 2), in a show of support for the company’s tax filing solution for consumers, small businesses and freelancers. The company said it will use the investment to expand its platform, as well as its team, which is currently made up of 10 full-time employees.
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