BlueVine Brings in $60 Million

Alternative lending company BlueVine just landed $60 million in equity funding. The Series E round brings its total financing to $578 million, comprising of $173 million in equity and $405 in debt.

Participating in today’s round are Menlo Ventures, which led the round, new investor SVB Capital, and all major existing investors. BlueVine will use the funds to support and expand its products and to boost its R&D team. “This new investment gives us a stronger market position, as we pursue bigger plans for reaching even more small business owners and expanding our offering,” said BlueVine CEO and founder Eyal Lifshitz.

BlueVine was founded in 2013 and has made its name as a player in invoice factoring. The company issues cash to small businesses in exchange for the sale of their unpaid invoices at a discount. Businesses can receive up to $5 million in working capital in a matter of days to help manage operations.

Tyler Sosin, partner at Menlo Ventures said, “The company has demonstrated dramatic, sustainable growth and has proven that there is enduring value in developing a comprehensive offering of credit products that small and medium sized businesses can use throughout their lifetimes.” He also commented on BlueVine’s potential growth, adding, “we believe there is a real opportunity for BlueVine to emerge as the dominant, multi-billion dollar fintech company.”

Today’s funding comes just one month after BlueVine received a $200 million credit facility from Credit Suisse. At the start of 2018, the company doubled its invoice factoring credit line to $5 million, just after increasing its business line of credit limit from $150,000 to $250,000 in 2017.

BlueVine demoed its small business working capital solution at FinovateFall 2014. Since inception, the company has funded more than $900 million in loans for more than 10,000 customers, 80% of which are return customers.

Munnypot Announces Strategic Partnership with Capita

Robo advisor and FinovateMiddleEast 2018 alum Munnypot has picked up a new investor. Capita announced late this week that it would take an equity stake in the company and will license Munnypot’s technology for its own clients. The amount of the investment was not disclosed, but the company said the funding gave Capita a minority holding in the firm and Capita emphasized the strategic nature of the partnership.

“We are enabling our financial services clients to address the growing digital savings market in an effective way, helping a dynamic startup to achieve critical mass and create sustainable U.K.-based digital jobs,” Capita CEO John Lewis explained. “We’re continuing to innovate and strengthen the digital platforms we offer to our clients to deliver real value and create future sustainable growth.”

Munnypot’s robo advisor platform is designed specifically for those who typically are unable to access financial advice due to the cost or investment minimums they cannot meet. At a price point similar to other online, self-serve robo advisory solutions, Munnypot leverages chatbot technology to help clients make investment decisions that match their appetite for risk and best enable them to meet their financial goals.

In addition to helping new investors, Munnypot offers more experienced investors an alternative to traditional financial advisors that can result in savings of as much as 75% on ongoing yearly fees and 75% on upfront advice fees. With a minimum investment of £250, Munnypot’s one-off upfront advice fee upon setting up the customer’s “pot” starts at £5 with a monthly monitoring fee starting at £0.42p. Fees top out at £500 for the one-off fee for accounts over £100,001, and £41.66p for monthly monitoring. The B2B solution is FCA-regulated and available as a white label solution.

Munnypot CEO Andy Fay said the new partnership with Capita was a “significant milestone” for the company. “Clients can now transact with us, knowing that we’re still the same independent, innovative, agile business but with the comfort of knowing we have the support of Capita plc as a shareholder,” he said.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Crawley, U.K., Munnypot demonstrated its robo advisory platform at the inaugural FinovateMiddleEast in February. Earlier this year, the company partnered with major Danish bank, Jyske Bank, becoming Munnypot’s first European white label customer.

Signifyd Takes in $100 Million in Series D Funding

Ecommerce fraud protection provider Signifyd has more than doubled its financing total with a new round of funding today. The company just closed a $100 million Series D round, bringing its total to $187 million.

Leading the round is Premji Invest, with participation from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Menlo Ventures, American Express Ventures, IA Ventures, Allegis Cyber, and Resolute Ventures. Signifyd will use the new capital to grow its retail customers.

“Premji invests in private companies with all the necessary ingredients to become thriving stand-alone public companies,” said Sandesh Patnam, lead partner at Premji Invest. He added that his firm is impressed with Signifyd’s growth, company culture, and the breadth of its customers. “More than that,” Patnam continued, “it comes down to the high quality of Signifyd’s innovation and technology. It couldn’t be clearer that guaranteed fraud protection is reaching mainstream adoption, and Signifyd is leading this space.”

Founded in 2011, Signifyd offers fraud protection for ecommerce merchants using technology that leverages machine learning algorithms, user behavior, and data science to identify fraudulent orders. Signifyd reduces merchant chargebacks on fraudulent charges, as well as saves companies money on shipping declined orders. In one case study, the company helped a major retailer realize a return on investment of 3.8 times over three years. Signifyd currently serves 10,000 retailers across the globe including top brands such as Build.com, Helly Hansen, iRobot, Jet, Lacoste, and Wayfair.

Signifyd demoed its chargeback mitigation solution at FinovateSpring 2013. Last month, the company opened its first European office in Spain following a partnership with Magento in February. Signifyd has been named on the Forbes FinTech 50 and was listed among Bloomberg’s 50 Most Promising Startups. Additionally, it has been named a top place to work by Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, San Francisco Business Times, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Tradeshift Raises $250 Million in Round Led by Goldman Sachs

Fintech has a brand new unicorn.

Supply chain financing innovator Tradeshift has locked in $250 million in new capital courtesy of a just-completed Series E round. The investment was led by Goldman Sachs and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and featured participation from HSBC, H14, Bullhound, and a new venture firm founded by Tradeshift founders called Gray Swan.

“We are very happy with this validation of our vision,” Christian Lanng, Tradeshift founder and CEO said. “We have always believed that the future of supply chains is 100% digital and that connecting trade is the first step to a digitally connected economy. This investment will enable us to continue our rapid growth and consolidate our leadership position. We welcome Goldman Sachs and PSP Investments as our newest investors and look forward to their valuable contributions as we enter our next growth phase.”

The latest round of funding takes Tradeshift’s total capital to more than $400 million and gives the San Francisco-based firm a valuation of $1.1 billion.

Working with more than 1.5 billion businesses in 190 countries around the world, Tradeshift enables supply chain payments and marketplaces, supporting trade finance alternatives, spend and receivables management, lending and payments, as well as private marketplaces. Tradeshift has helped free the $9 trillion in capital locked in online payments and was referred to in the November 2017 Forrester report on the Vendor Landscape: B2B Business Networks as the company whose technology “cause(s) other PO/invoice network vendors to change strategy.”

Tradeshift demonstrated the Instant Payments feature of its platform at FinovateEurope 2012. Instant Payments enables SMEs to receive instant payment for invoices approved through the platform, giving businesses access to lower interest rates compared to other funding opportunities. The solution also helps relieve pressure on cash flow due to late payments and extended payment terms.

Recently recognized with Best B2B Payments Platform honors from the FinTech Breakthrough Awards, Tradeshift launched Tradeshift Pay in May which combines supply chain payments and financing and blockchain-based early payments into a single solution. In March, the company partnered with Canon Business Process Services in a deal that enabled Canon customers to leverage Tradeshift’s platform to improve their supply chain, including source-to-pay processes.

The company began the year with the launch of Tradeshift Frontiers, an innovation lab and incubator geared toward helping bring the benefits of new technologies like AI and distributed ledgers to the world of supply chain management and global trade. Tradeshift was founded in 2010.

WorkFusion Closes Add-On Funding Round

WorkFusion promises what many banks are seeking: to help clients outpace change. And fortunately, the New York-based company has funds to back up that idea. Robotic process automation (RPA) specialist WorkFusion quietly added to the $50 million funding round it received last month. Last week, the company closed on an undisclosed amount of funds from strategic investors including Guardian, New York-Presbyterian, PNC Bank, and Alpha Intelligence Capital.

Pete Cumello, WorkFusion CFO, tells us that the company’s aggregate funding stands at $120 million– and the undisclosed investment boosts the total up over that amount. Cumello also noted that the add-on round added “somewhat” to the company’s value.

WorkFusion’s goal with the new capital is to fuel growth and boost acquisitions. The company was founded in 2010 and offers products for financial services, insurance, and healthcare sectors. Broadly, WorkFusion’s mission is to help firms deal with the rapid rise of AI by reducing the complexity of AI and helping customers exploit the AI opportunity by leveraging products that pair people with the power of robotic software. Specifically, use cases for WorkFusion’s AI-powered RPA include creating a more efficient account opening process, increasing loan booking accuracy, and automating rule-based processes in trade finance.

The company began with a simple question, “What if software could learn to identify high-quality work and manage the people who perform it?” By 2014, WorkFusion had expanded on that idea and at FinovateFall 2014 it demoed Active Learning Automation in New York. The company’s goals for 2018 and beyond are to make software-as-a-service automation products that offer elastic, on-demand capability with the Automation Cloud.

Azimo Raises $20 Million in New Funding

International money transfer innovator Azimo has locked in $20 million (£15 million) in new funding. The Series C investment was led by Rakuten Capital, and featured participation from a host of investors including e.ventures, Frog Capital, GR Capital Partners, Greycroft Partners, MCI, Quona Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. The new funding takes Azimo’s total capital to $66 million.

Founder and CEO Michael Kent said the funding would help the company improve its platform and continue to grow its customer base. He added that Azimo would continue to focus on the European market, which he referred to as “the largest, most diverse and chronically underserved money transfer market in the world.”

Rakuten Capital managing partner Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel credited Azimo’s ability to keep customer acquisition costs low as one of the benefits of its partnership with the London-based fintech. “Customer acquisition costs have dropped by two-third since we first got involved with Azimo,” he said. “This latest funding will comfortably bring the business to sustained profitability within 12 months.”

Japan-based Rakuten Capital has been a consistent investor in fintech companies, including funding for other Finovate alums like CurrencyCloud, BlueVine, and Kreditech. Mielczarek de la Miel told The Financial Times that growth in the international digital money transfer industry has not only attracted investors, but also made firms like Azimo “very coveted assets,” that could be the target of acquirers.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, U.K., Azimo demonstrated its international digital money transfer service at FinovateEurope 2013. The company offers safe and secure money transfers, verified by MasterCard and Visa, to more than 195 countries and in more than 60 different currencies. Azimo provides instant cash delivery to more than 50 countries, and most money transfers are processed in less than 24 hours. Azimo’s mobile app, available at Google Play and the Apple App Store, gives users instant updates and real-time currency alerts, as well.

With more than 1.5 million registered customers and more than $1 billion in annualized sending volume, Azimo has made significant additions and enhancements to its coverage in recent months. The company announced new, improved service to China in March and last December, Azimo revamped its service in Nigeria to bring faster transfers and broader cash delivery options. Also that month, Azimo launched its cash pick-up service in the Philippines.

Lidya Scores $6.9 Million in Series A Investment

Nigeria-based digital bank Lidya landed a fresh round of funding this week. The bank pulled in a Series A round totaling $6.9 million, an amount that marks the round as one of Nigeria’s largest tech investments. Combined with the $1.25 million Lidya received last March, today’s round brings the bank’s total funding to $8.2 million.

Omidyar Network led the round and was joined by new investors, Alitheia Capital, Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures; as well as existing investors Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital. Ameya Upadhyay, Principal at Omidyar Network, is slated to join Lidya’s board of directors.

“We are excited by the overwhelming support from the investor community, which signals a great confidence in our business model and team,” said Ercin Eksin, Lidya co-founder. Lidya will use the funds to expand its loan book, scale in Nigeria, enter new markets in Africa, and onboard more employees, specifically data scientists and engineers.

“Access to flexible, affordable credit is at the crux of unlocking growth in the MSME sector. Lidya is addressing that by using smart algorithms to analyze transaction data from small businesses to assess their creditworthiness,” said Upadhyay. “This data-driven approach allows the company to offer loans without the need of hard collateral– a requirement that has scuttled MSME financing in Africa. In the process, Lidya gathers insights that help expand its product portfolio to become a holistic partner to small businesses.”

Eksin demonstrated Lidya’s credit scoring algorithm at FinovateFall 2016. The demo showcased how the bank helps small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) share or upload their bank data to manage cash flow, customer data, and create and send digital invoices. To help businesses smooth lumpy cashflow held up in invoices, Lidya lends from $500 to $50,000 without requiring the business to visit a physical branch.

Since it was founded in 2016, Lidya has extended 1,500 loans to help SMEs in industries ranging from farming to technology. The bank was recently accepted into MasterCard’s Start Path Program, an accelerator program that supports the next generation of commerce solutions.

Interested in learning more about the state of fintech in Africa? Check out FinovateAfrica, held in Cape Town, South Africa on November 27 and 28, 2018.

BondIT Raises $4 Million in New Funding, Adding to Series B

With $4 million in new funding, BondIT has added to the Series B investment it announced last fall and taken the round’s total to $18.2 million. St. Louis Business Journal reported this week that the fixed income portfolio management platform provider plans to use the capital for product development among other initiatives.

The company’s Series B round has been led by major investor Fosun Group, a division of Fosun International Limited, a Hong Kong-based investment holding company. When the investment in BondIT was initially announced last fall, Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang said that BondIT’s technology “compliments (its) own financial ecosystem” and will enable wealth managers to upgrade their solutions with disruptive technology. The Group also said the investment reflected a commitment to the Israeli market.

BondIT uses machine learning algorithms and data science to enable fixed income advisors to make superior recommendations, improve client engagement, manage risk better, speed trade execution and meet compliance regulations easier. The platform improves productivity by automating portfolio construction, optimizing returns tailored to the individual customer, and enhancing analytics, and risk monitoring.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Herzliya, Israel, BondIT demonstrated its fixed income portfolio management platform at FinovateFall 2016. The company began the year leveraging its strategic partnership with Fosun Group and relationship with Chinese financial data provider Wind to expand its coverage of China’s $7+ trillion interbank bond market.

In January, BondIT partnered with IBM, choosing the company’s ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio to enhance its fixed income portfolio services. “By harnessing the ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio tool within our framework, our platform can find the optimal solution within the constraints,” BondIT Chief Scientist Dr. Hillel Raz said. “If a perfect solution is not feasible due to the combination of constraints and market conditions, it can relax constraints to provide the closest fit for any set of portfolio requirements.”

The fact that the technology is cloud-based is also a major plus enabling the company, in the words of BondIT CTO Amit Godel, to scale as required to meet customer needs, as well as to “provide platform enhancements immediately.”

“The main advantage of the IBM technology for us as a startup was fast time-to-market, as well as its ability to handle many different types of variables and objectives, control numerous parameters, and handle infeasible problems,” Godel said.

Etai Ravid is BondIT founder and CEO. Check out our profile of the company featuring a Q&A with Ravid.

WeInvest Raises $12.3 Million for its WealthTech Platform

B2B digital wealth management solutions provider WeInvest has taken in an investment of its own today. The Singapore-based company just closed on $12.3 million in Series A funding.

The financing comes from a handful of angel investors, along with London-based Schroders, which acquired a minority equity stake in the company. This is WeInvest’s first major funding after an undisclosed round in 2017.

In an interview, WeInvest Co-Founder and CEO Bhaskar Prabhakara told DEALSTREETASIA that the funds will be used to promote product development and to “expand the functional range of [the] platform across regional regulatory requirements, business models, and products.”

Unlike other models, WeInvest’s roboadvisory services empower traditional advisors with tools to help them compete with pure roboadvisory plays. WeInvest has three main products. TrackWealth offers simplified account aggregation and wealth analysis for advisors to provide their clients. GrowWealth, provides goal-based and thematic investing roboadvisory services that advisors can offer their self-directed clients. And AdviseWealth offers a service for relationship managers.

Founded in 2015 and with 38 employees, WeInvest offers its services in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India, and Dubai. Prabhakara recently presented AdviseWealth at FinovateMiddleEast 2018 in Dubai. WeInvest has 5 clients and anticipates it will double that number by the end of the year.

Tango Card Receives $35 Million

Digital rewards-as-a-service platform Tango Card may be doing a little dance today. That’s because the Seattle-based company just closed a $35 million round of funding, bringing its total funding to $54.8 million.

The growth equity investment comes from FTV Capital. Tango Card plans to use the funding to grow its Reward Delivery Platform and Rewards as a Service API, scale its Rewards Genius dashboard, offer new integrations, expand internationally, and boost hiring at its Seattle headquarters.

“Our mission is clear – make rewards easy to send and awesome to receive,” said David Leeds, CEO and founder of Tango Card. “In the past, incentive programs were highly manual and the results were difficult to track. Tango Card delivers an enterprise-friendly solution that is easy to integrate, customizable, and expansive in its catalog of rewards and incentive offerings, serving over 2,000 satisfied customers that trust and rely on us to help them scale their business.”

Founded in 2009, Tango Card helps companies recognize and reward employees, engage with existing customers, and motivate potential customers. The company demoed its Rewards-as-a-Service (RaaS) API at FinovateFall 2016. RaaS is comprised of multiple elements, including customer creation, account creation, funding, catalog support, ordering, and reporting. With these methods, customers can integrate a full rewards program into their app to incentivize consumer and employee behavior.

Leeds said that the company began searching for a growth equity partner last year. Given FTV’s similar vision and 20-year track record, Leeds said the firm was “the number one partner” on its list. Tango Card will also benefit from FTV’s Global Partner Network, which offers Tango Card a list of potential enterprise customers. As a part of today’s transaction, FTV’s Chris Winship and Robert Anderson will join Tango Card’s board of directors.

In the press release, Winship described the B2B prepaid space as “a $100 billion global market opportunity,” adding, “Tango Card provides an industry-leading solution that capitalizes on this shift to digital, enabling its enterprise clients to efficiently use rewards and incentives for numerous use cases and to achieve business goals such as driving employee engagement and retention, improving employee culture and wellness, and incentivizing customer activities.”