B2B Fintech Radar: July 14, 2022

On the radar this week:

Q&A with Michael Mueller of Form3 Financial Cloud

pfs, a financial software risk lifecycle management provider, raised funding.

Xelix, a UK-based accounts payable solutions provider, raised a $5 million Series A.

OpenFin, an enterprise bank operating platform, raised around $10 million from ING.

Tesorio, an automated payment collection and accounts receivable platform, raised a $17 million Series B.

Finalis, a broker-dealer platform for investors, raised $10.7 million in seed funding.

BKN301, a payments and banking-as-a-service app based in San Marino (inside of Italy), raised a €15 million Series A.

Q&A with Michael Mueller of Form3 Financial Cloud

1.​ Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I grew up in Germany and started working for Deutsche Bank after finishing school in 1988. Soon after I joined banking, I developed an interest in transaction banking and payments when I helped the bank build its international cash management business. After more than 20 years with Deutsche Bank in Germany, Singapore, Sidney and London I moved to Barclays where I joined the Corporate Banking Executive Committee in charge of their cash management and payments business. In 2016, I left banking and founded together with some colleagues Form3, a UK-based payment technology company. Over the past 4.5 years, we have completed several funding rounds and the business has grown to about 200 colleagues. We employ staff in more than 40 countries in Europe with about 19 different nationalities. We have two offices in London and Amsterdam, but most of my colleagues have been operating on a fully remote basis from day 1.

Form3 provides cloud-native payment technology to regulated financial institutions, we are processing millions of payments every month for payment service providers, challengers and large Tier 1 banks in the UK and in Europe.

AnaCap backs Spanish fintech pfs

AnaCap Financial Partners (“AnaCap”), a leading specialist mid-market private equity investor in Financials, Technology and related Business Services, today announces an investment in pfs, a provider of software and technological risk lifecycle management solutions.

Headquartered in Madrid with operations in Spain, Portugal and Mexico, pfs is a provider of software and technology solutions for financial services businesses across the entire value chain of lending activity, covering processes from origination to collection. pfs also has a number of data efficiency solutions deployed within banks to optimise credit risk.

The business is led by a highly entrepreneurial and majority shareholding CEO who has overseen and driven its growth and transformation to date. pfs has a strong track record that aligns with AnaCap’s investment approach of actively supporting value creation alongside founders and highly entrepreneurial managers.

pfs has completed 6 acquisitions in the past 3 years alone, successfully adding on to its portfolio. pfs also has a strong acquisition pipeline of complementary software providers to integrate into its product suite. In addition, its service offering around risk management for financial institutions will be further deployed in new geographies (with a particular strategic focus in LATAM where the business has an already established presence).

In June 2022, pfs successfully completed the acquisition of Kineox, a digital collection leader in the Spanish market. Kineox facilitates and optimises collection processes through innovative data and predictive analytics technology that improves effectiveness, efficiency and overall customer experience.

Xelix Raises $5M in Series A Funding

Xelix, a London, UK-based Accounts Payable solution provider, completed a $5m Series A funding round.

The round was led by Fintop Capital, with participation from existing investors Passion Capital and Localglobe.

The funding will be used to bring new products to market and for team expansion to accelerate growth.

Xelix provides an Accounts Payable (AP) solution that enables companies to automate manual and time-consuming processes, whilst delivering huge savings to the bottom line.

Launched in 2018 by University friends Paul Roiter (CEO) and Phillip Watts (CPO), Xelix is an enterprise SaaS company providing automation solutions for the CFO office. The company has developed an Accounts Payable Control Centre – a machine-learning powered application whose benefits include the prevention of incorrect payments and fraud, and automation of key AP processes enhancing team productivity. The solution, which aggregates data from different systems, providing a consolidated view of AP across a business, includes:

  • Xelix Protect offers a machine-learning payment audit to identify high-risk transactions prior to the pay run. 
  • Xelix Statement Reconciliation provides an automated workflow to ensure accounting accuracy and compliance. 
  • Xelix Insight is a self-service business intelligence tool enabling rapid insights from payables data.

The client base includes some of the biggest companies in the world, with key sectors including manufacturing, retail and government.

OpenFin secures investment from ING Ventures

ING Ventures, the venture capital branch of ING bank, has invested “around $10 million” in the operating system (OS) of enterprise productivity, OpenFin.

The investment is earmarked to broaden OpenFin’s reach across financial services, and expedite their OS expansion in the industry. The company’s technology is currently being used by over 2,400 banks, wealth and asset management firms in over 60 countries.

The OS utilises Google’s Chromium engine to facilitate workflow between apps and streamline communication, and its technology has been used by financial institutions worldwide to design the digital workspace. Features of OpenFin Workspace include advanced search, application discovery, and components for complex windowing.

Frederic Hofmann, co-head of ING Ventures commented: “Our investment in OpenFin further validates our determination and commitment to digital transformation and innovation. We are excited to partner with OpenFin as they have proven to be the best in class app platform in this space, transforming distribution and significantly enhancing end-user productivity across the finance industry.”

Adam Toms, chief operating officer at OpenFin stated: “Having another strategic investor like ING on board who is focused on a business transformation agenda is key. At OpenFin we have always been focused on solving problems for the entire industry, the ING Ventures investment allows us to accelerate the delivery of OpenFin Workspace across the industry, transforming front office to back office desktops.”

Also investing in OpenFin are big players including Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Strategic Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and NYCA Partners.

Tesorio’s tools aim to help businesses automate payments collection

Although finance teams ultimately control budgets within their companies, investment in technology under the chief financial officer’s purview had been limited — at least until recently. That’s the assertion of Tesorio CEO Carlos Vega, who observed that, prior to the pandemic, most cash management processes had been run in spreadsheets and Word documents.

“Cash is becoming the number one priority for all organizations. The industry’s main competitor is the inertia of doing it the old way, despite it being manual, error-prone, and highly inefficient … All of a sudden, [tools like automation] have gone from vitamin to painkiller,” Vega told TechCrunch via email. “At current inflation rates, companies are losing over 2% in real terms every 90 days they sit on their receivables. That may not seem like much, but for a mid-market business with a $10 million outstanding receivables balance, that’s costing them $210,000 per quarter or the equivalent of two employees for a year.”

Of course, Vega has a product to promote — Tesorio sells automation solutions designed to help customers manage their accounts receivables. But at least one source supports his claim that automation can transform accounts receivable workflows for the better. In April 2022, American Express and published a survey that found that about two-thirds of firms that have automated accounts receivable processes report benefiting from improved days sales outstanding (a measure of the average number of days that it takes for a company to collect payment after a sale has been made), while about half said that they achieved lower delinquency rates.

Finalis Closes $10.7M in Seed Funding

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK – July 6, 2022 – Finalis, the fastest-growing technology platform for dealmakers, today announced $10.7 million in seed funding led by various venture capital firms, including ANIMO Ventures, Chaac Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Tribe Capital and The Fund. The seed funding will accelerate Finalis’ market growth, development of its dealmaking technology platform, and overseas expansion.

Since launching in May 2020, Finalis has become the leading platform enabling private market dealmakers to execute deals compliantly. Finalis built the Finalis Hub™, which is the first fully-integrated private securities brokerage technology platform that already manages billions in deal volume with over 700 active mandates in market and supports more than 150 investment banks and placement agencies across the United States. Finalis bundles a regulatory affiliation with its broker-dealer together with the Finalis Hub™ to deliver a world-class “brokerage-in-a-box” experience for dealmakers.

In March, Finalis launched its category-creating Finalis Marketplace™, which allows dealmakers on the Finalis Hub™ to promote deal collaboration and execution with other dealmakers in real time. The Finalis Marketplace™ already has billions in potential deal volume open to collaboration.

“Finalis was founded because the investment banking industry needs modernization to deliver real value not just to dealmakers, but to their clients as well. Dealmakers deserve a platform that unlocks opportunities within the private securities market, which is among the largest and fastest-growing asset classes globally,” said Finalis Founder and CEO Federico Baradello. “Finalis is deeply committed to delivering a more customer-centric approach and we are excited by the transformative impact we are already having with dealmakers and their clients.”

BaaS startup BKN301 raises EUR15m

BKN301, a digital payments and Banking-as-a-Service startup, has raised EUR15 million in a Series A funding round led by Abalone Group.

The round, which values BKN301 at EUR63 million, was joined by PayU, Azimut Digitech Fund, CRIF, and GNB Swiss Investments.

Launched last year, BKN301, through its BaaS and digital e-money platform model, enables third parties to offer financial, payment, and token issuance services. The company is focusing on the fast-growing markets of Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

Stiven Muccioli, CEO, BKN301, says: “Closing this new round based on the support of highly-experienced investors confirms the validity of our project, which has always focused on fast-growing markets.

“Thanks to this massive recognition, we will continue to provide, through the BKN301 group, excellent fintech solutions and integrations to countries with high development potential.

“Being characterized by a low level of banking services, they can significantly benefit from adopting new banking technologies — such as digital payments, innovative blockchain services, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets.”