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Crowdfunding

French Spend Management Fintech Spendesk Acquires €100M in Capital via Series C led by General Atlantic

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France-based Spendesk, a spend management platform, has acquired €100 million in capital through a Series C round that was led by General Atlantic, an international growth equity company.

Spendesk offers finance professionals a software-as-a-services or SaaS spend management system for complete visibility and control on all company-related spending — with every purchase being easily trackable to an individual, a specific project, as well as a budget.

The Spendesk platform brings together payments, processes, and data, with digital and physical cards for workers, expense reimbursements, invoice management, automated spend approvals, as well as budgets.

Having recently doubled revenue, Spendesk’s client base has expanded to 3,000, and its employee headcount reached 300+ in the past year. The company revealed that it will be channeling the proceeds from the raise towards recruiting new talent and further develop its line of products.

Rodolphe Ardant, CEO at Spendesk, stated:

“In the past few years we have built the reference spend management solution for finance teams in Europe, which frees businesses and their people from administrative constraints of spending and managing money at work. While our solution is about empowering finance teams, we are actually delivering value to the entire business through the finance team.”

Spendesk was founded on the idea that “spending money at work is far too complicated and time consuming,” the company explained in a blog post.

The Fintech firm points out that it “actually slows businesses down and reduces output across the entire company.”

According to Spendesk, nowhere is this pain “felt more acutely than in finance teams, where you have talented, thoughtful experts with a real impact to make.” They also noted that there may be a lot of value that could be added to firms “if they weren’t spending weeks chasing receipts, reconciling payments, or manually updating budgets.”

The company further noted:

“So that’s the problem we’ve set out to solve at Spendesk: to create an all-in-one solution that liberates finance teams from the tedious tasks, and empowers them to focus on more impactful, strategic work.”

They added:

“We call this ‘spend management’ – a concept that aims to streamline every aspect of spending & managing money at work: expenses, card payments, and invoice processing, but also approval workflows and accounting automation. And while our solution is about empowering finance teams, we deliver value to the entire business through the finance team, with a simple solution that employees love to use.”

With Spendesk, non-finance workers can be empowered to take care of spending on their own, with all the guidance they require to make the right decisions. Managers are able to keep track of and control budgets “without hassle, and senior leadership has more visibility over cash flow and revenue.” Essentially, Spendesk helps “every employee focus on the work that matters most.”

The company also mentioned:

“We’ve certainly benefited from using Spendesk ourselves during this funding round. We could tell a very detailed data story about our business with very little effort.”

They also confirmed that their Series C round was led by global growth equity firm General Atlantic and they’re pleased to welcome back all of our previous investors, including Index Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178221-french-spend-management-fintech-spendesk-acquires-e100m-in-capital-via-series-c-led-by-general-atlantic/

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Blockchain

Paystand banks $50M to make B2B payments cashless and with no fees

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It’s pretty easy for individuals to send money back and forth, and there are lots of cash apps from which to choose. On the commercial side, however, one business trying to send $100,000 the same way is not as easy.

Paystand wants to change that. The Scotts Valley, California-based company is using cloud technology and the Ethereum blockchain as the engine for its Paystand Bank Network that enables business-to-business payments with zero fees.

The company raised $50 million Series C funding led by NewView Capital, with participation from SoftBank’s SB Opportunity Fund and King River Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $85 million, Paystand co-founder and CEO Jeremy Almond told TechCrunch.

During the 2008 economic downturn, Almond’s family lost their home. He decided to go back to graduate school and did his thesis on how commercial banking could be better and how digital transformation would be the answer. Gleaning his company vision from the enterprise side, Almond said what Venmo does for consumers, Paystand does for commercial transactions between mid-market and enterprise customers.

“Revenue is the lifeblood of a business, and money has become software, yet everything is in the cloud except for revenue,” he added.

He estimates that almost half of enterprise payments still involve a paper check, while fintech bets heavily on cards that come with 2% to 3% transaction fees, which Almond said is untenable when a business is routinely sending $100,000 invoices. Paystand is charging a flat monthly rate rather than a fee per transaction.

Paystand’s platform. Image Credits: Paystand

On the consumer side, companies like Square and Stripe were among the first wave of companies predominantly focused on accounts payable and then building business process software on top of an existing infrastructure.

Paystand’s view of the world is that the accounts receivables side is harder and why there aren’t many competitors. This is why Paystand is surfing the next wave of fintech, driven by blockchain and decentralized finance, to transform the $125 trillion B2B payment industry by offering an autonomous, cashless and feeless payment network that will be an alternative to cards, Almond said.

Customers using Paystand over a three-year period are able to yield average benefits like 50% savings on the cost of receivables and $850,000 savings on transaction fees. The company is seeing a 200% increase in monthly network payment value and customers grew two-fold in the past year.

The company said it will use the new funding to continue to grow the business by investing in open infrastructure. Specifically, Almond would like to reboot digital finance, starting with B2B payments, and reimagine the entire CFO stack.

“I’ve wanted something like this to exist for 20 years,” Almond said. “Sometimes it is the unsexy areas that can have the biggest impacts.”

As part of the investment, Jazmin Medina, principal at NewView Capital, will join Paystand’s board. She told TechCrunch that while the venture firm is a generalist, it is rooted in fintech and fintech infrastructure.

She also agrees with Almond that the B2B payments space is lagging in terms of innovation and has “strong conviction” in what Almond is doing to help mid-market companies proactively manage their cash needs.

“There is a wide blue ocean of the payment industry, and all of these companies have to be entirely digital to stay competitive,” Medina added. “There is a glaring hole if your revenue is holding you back because you are not digital. That is why the time is now.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/23/paystand-banks-50m-to-make-b2b-payments-cashless-and-with-no-fees/

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SaaS

Andreessen Horowitz funds Vitally’s $9M round for customer experience software

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Customer success company Vitally raised $9 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz to continue developing its SaaS platform automating customer experiences.

Co-founder and CEO Jamie Davidson got the idea for Vitally while he was at his previous company, Pathgather. As chief customer officer, he was looking at tools and “was underwhelmed” by the available tools to automate repetitive tasks. So he set out to build one.

The global pandemic thrust customer satisfaction into the limelight as brands realized that the same ways they were engaging with customers had to change now that everyone was making the majority of their purchases online. Previously, a customer service representative may have managed a dozen accounts, but nowadays with product-led growth, they tackle a portfolio of thousands of customers, Davidson told TechCrunch.

New York-based Vitally, founded in 2017, unifies all of that customer data into one place and flows it through an engine to provide engagement insights, like what help customers need, which ones are at risk of churning and which to target for expanded revenue opportunities. Its software also provides automation to balance workflow and steer customer success teams to the tasks with the right customers so that they are engaging at the correct time.

Andreessen approached Davidson for the Series A, and he liked the alignment in customer success vision, he said. Including the new funding, Vitally raised a total of $10.6 million, which includes $1.2 million in September 2019.

From the beginning, Vitally was bringing in strong revenue growth, which enabled the company to focus on building its platform and hold off on fundraising.

“A Series A was certainly on our mind and road map, but we weren’t actively fundraising,” Davidson said. “However, we saw a great fit and great backing to help us grow. Tools have lagged in the customer success area and how to manage that. Andreessen can help us scale and grow with our customers as they manage the thousands of their customers.”

Davidson intends to use the new funding to scale Vitally’s team across the board and build out its marketing efforts to introduce the company to the market. He expects to grow to 30 by the end of the year to support the company’s annual revenue growth — averaging 3x — and customer acquisition. Vitally is already working with big customers like Segment, Productboard and Calendly.

As part of the investment, Andreessen general partner David Ulevitch is joining the Vitally board. He saw an opportunity for the reimagining of how SaaS companies delivered customer success, he told TechCrunch via email.

Similar to Davidson, he thought that customer success teams were now instrumental to growing SaaS businesses, but technology lagged behind market need, especially with so many SaaS companies taking a self-serve or product-led approach that attracted more orders than legacy tools.

Before the firm met Vitally, it was hearing “rave reviews” from its customers, Ulevitch said.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and affirmed the fact that Vitally simply had the best product on the market since it actually mapped to how businesses operated and interacted with customers, particularly businesses with a long-tail of paying customers,” he added. “The first dollar into a SaaS company is great, but it’s the renewal and expansion dollars that really set the winners apart from everyone else. Vitally is in the best position to help companies get that renewal, help their customers expand accounts and ultimately win the space.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/21/andreessen-horowitz-funds-vitallys-9m-round-for-customer-experience-software/

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Real Estate

Austin-based Fetch Package secures $60M in equity & debt after tripling ARR in 2020

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Fetch Package, a last-mile package delivery company for apartment communities, has raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding and closed on a $10 million venture debt facility.

Michael Patton founded Fetch in May 2016 after being frustrated by having packages lost at the apartment community in which he was living. 

“I took the time to research how communities were handling packages. What I found was that some communities are receiving up to 300 to 400 packages a week and trying to manage that volume manually, adding a significant time burden on the team,” he told TechCrunch. “I knew there had to be a better way and that solution needed to be one that could easily handle the future of package delivery as e-commerce was gaining significant traction.”

Fetch launched its operations in Dallas in February of 2017 with the goal of solving “the package problem” for apartment communities. The startup, which later moved its headquarters to Austin, has seen impressive growth.

By the end of 2017, the SaaS company was servicing approximately 2,000 apartments in the Dallas area. Over the next three years that number grew to almost 150,000 doors being serviced out of 25 warehouses in 15 markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Orlando, Portland, Phoenix, Arizona and Seattle.

Fetch currently has just over 200,000 doors, or around 700 communities, across the country under contract. It says it works with seven of the top 10 nationally recognized apartment management companies in the country, in addition to “a majority of the largest owners and developers.” Last December, it inked a national preferred vendor agreement with management giant Greystar. Fetch delivered about 3.5 million packages in 2020, and hit the 2.5 million mark for volume in June 2021. The company says it’s currently on track to deliver more than 8 million packages by the end of the year. 

While the company would not disclose hard revenue figures, Patton says it tripled its year-over-year ARR (annual recurring revenue) in 2020 and GAAP revenue grew 6x year-over-year. Over the last two years, Fetch has seen “record sales,” he added, and is on pace to surpass 300,000 units by year’s end. Austin-based Ocelot Capital led its Series C round, which also included participation from Greenpoint Partners, Alpaca VC and Rose Park Advisors. Existing backers Iron Gate Capital, Signal Peak Ventures, Venn Ventures, Pando Ventures and Seamless also put money in the round. 

In addition to the equity raise, Signature Bank provided the company with a $10 million venture debt facility. The latest financing brings Fetch’s total funding to more than $92 million, and triples its valuation from its $18 million Series B raise last August.

Andrew Townsend, managing member at Ocelot Capital, believes that Fetch is “solving for a major bottleneck within the supply chain that is often overlooked.”

“We expect e-commerce delivery volume to continue to grow for the foreseeable future and Fetch is the only scalable solution available to multifamily operators,” he said. 

What makes Fetch stand out, in his view, is that the company can “efficiently” manage the fluctuations in package volume in ways that traditional parcel storage solutions cannot. It also provides apartment residents with the “unique convenience of on-demand doorstep delivery that aligns with the varied schedules of apartment dwellers,” Townsend added.

All packages at Fetch’s client communities are sent to the company’s facilities using a unique code identifier. The company then coordinates scheduled, direct-to-door delivery with residents directly via its app in a time frame that it says “works best for their schedule.”

“This takes the property out of the package management business and provides residents with a convenient amenity,” Patton said.

Fetch works with a mix of W2 employees as well as 1099 contractors to fulfill their service. On the W2 side, Fetch has had a 50% increase in total employees since the middle of last year, with about 350 employees today. This is in addition to the “thousands” of independent contractors/gig economy workers who also serve as drivers in all their markets.

Looking ahead, Fetch will use its new capital primarily to expand into new markets, with plans to launch in South Florida, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Nashville, Minneapolis and a “few other markets” over the next two quarters. Over the next 18 months, the company intends to launch around 20 new markets. The money will also go toward investing in its tech stack and operational infrastructure, Patton said.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/21/austin-based-fetch-secures-60m-in-equity-debt-after-tripling-arr-in-2020/

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