ICYMI fintech funding round-up: Akuvo, BFM, Billhop, Finverity, & LemonEdge
At FinTech Futures, we know that it can be easy to let funding announcements slip you by in this fast-paced industry. That’s why we put together our weekly In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) funding round-up for you to get the latest funding news.
Billhop, a Swedish payments platform that enables card-based B2B payments, has raised €10.5 million, led by EQT Ventures with participation from Element Ventures.
As part of the deal, Ashley Lundström, partner at EQT Ventures, will join Billhop’s board of directors.
The start-up says the funding will be used “to scale aggressively – including hiring (particularly tech and marketing roles), customer acquisition, and geographical expansion”.
Billhop says its proprietary straight-through processing (STP) payment solution manages the complete payment process for its business customers without having to onboard the company’s vendors.
It explains: “Vendors don’t need to change anything in their existing accounts receivables process; they simply get paid directly into their usual bank account through a bank-to-bank transfer.”
Co-founded in 2013 by Sebastian Andreescu (CEO), Erik Malm (CTO), and Ingemar Sjögren (CFO) in Stockholm, Sweden, Billhop serves over 20 markets, catering to large enterprise customers across Europe and sole traders and SMEs in the UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, and Finland.
It processes €250 million in transaction volumes annually for 65,000 customers. It currently has a “lean team” of 19 people – which it doubled last year.
LemonEdge, a low-code accounting platform for the private capital industry, has completed a $4 million funding round, led by Blackstone Innovation Investments with participation from existing investors, including Sidekick Partners, Lauren Iaslovits (co-founder of Investran and a pioneer of private capital market technologies), and Tikhon Bernstam (founder of Parse and Scribd).
The latest financing increases the firm’s total capital raised to date to $7 million.
LemonEdge was founded in 2020 and is based in London, UK.
It enables private capital firms to automate and digitise their end-to-end accounting processes, many of whom still rely on older systems or spreadsheets, the start-up says.
“In a first for the industry, LemonEdge combines a modern, purpose-built financial engine alongside a customisable low-code platform with a suite of advanced reporting and scenario tools,” it states.
According to LemonEdge, it’s 20x faster to implement and run compared to traditional services.
Another London-based start-up, Finverity, has completed a $2 million pre-Series A equity funding round.
Investors in the round included MENA-based B&Y Venture Partners and Canada-based Loyal VC (an existing investor), plus a number of angel investors.
Founded in 2017, Finverity is a cross-border supply chain finance platform for mid-market firms focused on trade between developed and emerging markets.
It describes its offering as “a complete supply chain finance ecosystem for funders and corporates to transact with one another”.
The new funding will be used to expand its sales, operations, and technology teams. The start-up plans to open three new offices across MENA and Eastern Europe this year.
“The healthy functioning of supply chain finance is pivotal in aiding recovery post-pandemic by keeping the wheels of the global economy turning,” comments Viacheslav Oganezov, CEO and co-founder of Finverity.
Business Finance Market (BFM), a UK-based platform for SME financing, has secured a £1.3 million seed investment round, led by Growth Capital Ventures.
The round, which saw pledges exceed the initial target of £1 million, is further to the start-up’s initial seed round of £225,000 in June 2021.
The funds will be used to further develop its tech and expand its team, the start-up says.
BFM was founded in 2020 by Craig Iley, an experienced banker and entrepreneur who has co-founded two challenger banks in the UK (Bank North and Atom Bank).
The company estimates that 90% of SME loan applications in the UK do not complete due to poor processes. BFM aims to “streamline the lending process through technology innovation and a reengineered customer journey to match lenders and SMEs together to help them secure the right finance for their business”.
With “a data-rich fintech platform at its heart”, BFM is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a Directly Authorised Commercial Lending Broker.
Akuvo, a tech start-up in the US focused on portfolio risk and delinquency management for financial institutions, has received an undisclosed investment from Reseda Group (a wholly-owned credit union service organisation of MSU Federal Credit Union).
MSU Federal Credit Union has also become one of three new clients of Akuvo, alongside Credit Union of Colorado and another unnamed credit union.
All three credit unions have signed on to use Akuvo’s flagship delinquency management and portfolio analytics platform, Aperture. The cloud-based solution streamlines day-to-day collection activities and reduces delinquency using data and behavioural science tools like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).
Akuvo was founded in 2019 and is based in Pennsylvania.