If money is the lifeblood of business, the inflows and outflows of revenue and expenses are like the heartbeat of a company. And while tracking and managing these financial operations are critical to keeping a business healthy, the tools that …
We are incredibly excited to announce our first investment in Africa as we back Jess Anuna and her vision to build technology for cross-border commerce with Klasha as part of a $2.4 million seed round led by Greycroft. We’re delighted to participate alongside a number of close friends including Seedcamp Expert in Residence and former Marketing head at Wise, Joe Cross; Gumtree Co-founder, Michael Pennington and First Round VC, Practical VC, Plug and Play, Expert Dojo and 2.12 Angels.
Not every partnership happens overnight. We first met Jess back in 2018 and were incredibly impressed with her experience at the likes of Shopify, Net-a-Porter, and Amazon and stayed close as she’s since pivoted and evolved Klasha to take on the massive undertaking of building technology for cross-border commerce to enable the 400 million+ internet users in Africa to more seamlessly transact online.
Africa presents vast opportunities for scaling quickly in commerce, with the total value of e-commerce expected to reach $29 billion by 2022. Still, the ability to pay online with African money methods including cards, M-Pesa, bank transfer and mobile money is challenging for consumers on the ground. Klasha believes that consumers in Africa should have built technology to facilitate the same frictionless access to the goods they want regardless of their geographic location.
“By 2025, half of the world’s population will live in Africa. At Klasha, we’re building the technology to facilitate frictionless cross-border payments and allow international businesses to scale seamlessly into Africa (Read more...)
We have been bullish on the potential for open banking and the power of tech to radically improve financial services for over a decade. In November 2019, we met Karl, Damien, and Adam and were hugely impressed by their sector expertise and vision to drastically improve payment solutions for merchants and consumers, resulting in us leading their pre-seed round in November 2019. Fast forward under two years and we are excited to see the impressive growth, both in terms of major customers now using Vyne for their payments solutions, as well as this round – the UK’s largest open banking seed round – attracting the likes of Hearst Ventures, Entrée Capital, TriplepointVenrex, Founder Collective and Partech alongside angel investment from Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla and CEO of Cazoo, Charlie Dellingpole, CEO and founder of ComplyAdvantage, and Will Neale founder of Grabyo.
Vyne’s solution enables both merchants and consumers to have more direct, secure, and faster payments. By transforming the checkout experience, payments can be completed by consumers through their own banking app and merchants can engage customers through more digital channels such as through QR codes and pay-by-link, which can be sent by email, SMS or in person. Vyne has already completed some considerable use cases such as collaborating with Kinetic, to allow two million students to pay their rent in three clicks, as well as integrating with RemitOne, the leading technology and business services firm for the remittance world. “As leading payments experts, Vyne are the (Read more...)
The following content is sponsored by CoinPayments.
Visualizing the Rise of Cryptocurrency Transactions
After Bitcoin and cryptocurrency’s wild bull run in late 2020 and early 2021, many holders are now using cryptocurrencies for their intended purpose: payments.
Every day, approximately $12 billion are transferred across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin blockchains, with millions of people using cryptocurrency for payments daily.
This graphic sponsored by CoinPayments looks at the rising transactions of the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks.
Cryptocurrency Transactions are Rising in Value and Number
While prices are often the focus when crypto is in the spotlight, transaction counts show how much a network is being used as a medium of exchange. In just over five years, daily transactions across the Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin networks increased sixfold, from just 250,000 to more than 1.5 million transactions a day.
In mid-2017, Ethereum overtook Bitcoin in daily transactions as ETH was necessary to participate in ICOs (initial coin offerings), which fueled much of the speculation in the 2017 price run. With Ethereum still hosting thousands of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens on its blockchain today, its transaction counts have grown to be much higher compared to Bitcoin and Litecoin’s.
Along with crypto’s rising transaction numbers, the average USD value per transaction has increased by a minimum of 4x over the past five years.
|Year||Average Value per Bitcoin Transaction||Average Value per Ethereum Transaction||Average Value per Litecoin Transaction|
Source: Coin Metric
2021 (Read more...)
Building credit history can be difficult if you are a consumer that is having trouble getting access to credit in the first place.
Enter TomoCredit, which has developed a credit card focused on building credit history for first-time borrowers. The San Francisco-based startup is announcing today that it has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Kapor Capital and KB Investment Inc. (KBIC), a subsidiary of South Korea’s leading consumer bank. Lewis & Clark Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Knollwood Investment Advisory, WTI, Bronze and Square co-founder Sam Wen also participated in the Series A financing.
The new capital comes just over seven months after TomoCredit raised $7 million in seed funding, and brings its total raised this year to $17 million. The company also announced today it has appointed Ash Gupta, former CRO at American Express, to its board.
TomoCredit co-founder and CEO Kristy Kim came up with the concept for the company after being rejected multiple times for an auto loan while in her early 20s.
Kim, who immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea with her family as a child, was disappointed that her lack of credit history proved to be such an obstacle despite the fact she had a job “and positive cash flow.”
So she teamed up with Dmitry Kashlev, a Russian immigrant, in January of 2019 to create a solution for other foreign-born individuals and young adults facing (Read more...)
Last year at this time, SpotOn was on the brink of announcing a $60 million Series C funding round at a $625 million valuation.
Fast forward to almost exactly one year later, and a lot has changed for the payments and software startup.
Today, SpotOn said it has closed on $300 million in Series E financing that values the company at $3.15 billion — more than 5x of its valuation at the time of its Series C round, and significantly higher than its $1.875 billion valuation in May (yes, just three and a half months ago) when it raised $125 million in a Series D funding event.
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led both the Series D and E rounds for the company, which says it has seen 100% growth year over year and a tripling in revenue over the past 18 months. Existing investors DST Global, 01 Advisors, Dragoneer Investment Group, Franklin Templeton and Mubadala Investment Company too doubled down on their investments in SpotOn, joining new backers Wellington Management and Coatue Management. Advisors Douglas Merritt, CEO of Splunk, and Mike Scarpelli, CFO of Snowflake, also made individual investments as angels. With the new capital, SpotOn has raised $628 million since its inception.
The latest investment is being used to finance the acquisition of another company in the space — Appetize, a digital and mobile commerce payments platform for enterprises such as sports and entertainment venues, theme parks and zoos. SpotOn is paying $415 million in cash and stock for (Read more...)
Buy now, pay later is officially everywhere, and Latin America is no exception.
Today, one startup in the region, Addi, is announcing a $75 million extension to its Series B, bringing the total round size to $140 million. In late May, the startup announced it had raised $35 million in an equity round led by Union Square’s Opportunity Fund, and $30 million in debt funding from Architect Capital.
The company, which has dual headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, and São Paulo, Brazil, declined to reveal its new valuation other than to say it is “nearly triple” what it was 90 days ago when it closed on the first tranche of its Series B, and that it is now in the “hundreds of millions” of dollars range.
New York-based Greycroft led the extension, which also included participation from new backers GGV Capital, Citius Capital and Intersection Growth Partners, as well as existing investors Union Square’s Opportunity Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Endeavor Catalyst, Foundation Capital, Monashees and Quona Capital.
With the latest financing, Addi has now raised a total of $220 million in debt and equity since its September 2018 inception — $140 million of that in equity and over $80 million in debt.
Addi co-founder and CEO Santiago Suarez, says he, Daniel Vallejo and Elmer Ortega started the company with a vision of making digital commerce a reality in Latin America — a region where an estimated fewer than 25% of people (Read more...)
Last summer, Jeeves was participating in Y Combinator’s summer batch as a fledgling fintech.
This June, the startup emerged from stealth with $31 million in equity and $100 million in debt financing.
Today, the company, which is building an “all-in-one expense management platform” for global startups, is announcing that it has raised a $57 million Series B at a $500 million valuation. That’s up from a valuation of just north of $100 million at the time of Jeeves’ Series A, which closed in May and was announced in early June.
While the pace of funding these days is unlike most of us have ever seen before, it’s pretty remarkable that Jeeves essentially signed the term sheet for its Series B just two months after closing on its Series A. It’s also notable that just one year ago, it was wrapping up a YC cohort.
Jeeves was not necessarily looking to raise so soon, but fueled by its growth in revenue and spend after its Series A, which was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the company was approached by dozens of potential investors and offered multiple term sheets, according to CEO and co-founder Dileep Thazhmon. Jeeves moved forward with CRV, which had been interested since the A and built a relationship with Thazhmon, so it could further accelerate growth and launch in more countries, he said.
CRV led the Series B round, which also included participation from Tencent, Silicon Valley Bank, Alkeon Capital Management, Soros Fund Management and a high-profile group (Read more...)
Balance, a payments platform aimed at B2B merchants and marketplaces, has raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by Ribbit Capital.
Avid Ventures participated in the financing, in addition to existing backers Lightspeed Ventures, Stripe, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, SciFi VC and UpWest. Other individual investors that put money in the round include early employees and executives from Plaid, Coinbase, Square, Stripe and PayPal, such as Jaqueline Reses, formerly head of Square Capital. The financing comes just over six months after Balance announced a $5.5 million seed round.
The motivation for starting the company was simple, said CEO and co-founder Bar Geron: “We wanted to create an online B2B experience that doesn’t suck.” He and Yoni Shuster, both former PayPal employees, started the company in early 2020.
B2B payments, he said, have historically differed from B2C primarily in that they have not taken place at the moment of purchase (or at the point of sale) but rather within 30 days and with an invoice. This is not an efficient process for merchants or vendors alike, the company maintains.
Meanwhile, most businesses have avoided paying for their supply with credit cards, because cards can quickly max out, Geron said.
“The only element that keeps many merchants offline is payments,” he told TechCrunch. “It’s a process that is stuck in the flow of those marketplaces and keeping them from scaling. We got fascinated with the problem.”
Givz, which has developed an API-powered platform that gives brands a way to convert discounts into donations, has raised $3 million in seed funding.
Eniac and Accomplice co-led the financing for the New York-based startup. Additional investors include Supernode Ventures, Claude Wasserstein of Fine Day, Phoenix Club and Dylan Whitman.
Givz was founded in 2017 to make charitable giving more accessible and convenient for the masses. In March 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company pivoted from B2C to B2B and used the technology rails it had built to create the e-commerce marketing platform that Givz is today.
The company aims to drive “full-price purchasing behavior” by giving consumers the ability to convert the money they would be saving if getting a discount, and donating it to their favorite charities.
Prior to the funding, Givz had been working with more than 80 enterprise, mid-market and SMB retail and e-commerce clients such as H&M, Tom Brady’s TB12, Seedlip and Terez, and accumulated more than 40,000 individual users. Since the shift last year, the company has helped drive more than $1 million to 1,100 charities, according to CEO and founder Andrew Forman.
It just launched on Shopify, which Forman says will give the startup access to the 1.7 million retailers that use Shopify as their e-commerce platform.
Givz operates under the premise that “donation-driven marketing” consistently outperforms discounts and costs less, “making it an attractive addition” to corporate marketing.
“We are creating a new marketing category and generating the (Read more...)