Buy Now, Pay Later for B2B Marketplace Billie Raises $ 100 Million on $ 640 Million Valuation – TechCrunch
Buy now, pay later, services like Affirm, Klarna, Afterpay and many more have seen their businesses grow in leaps and bounds, with consumers purchasing goods increasingly turning to alternatives to credit to delay payment. integral. Now, a Berlin-based startup called Billie that has built a similar service – but specifically targeting B2B transactions – is seeing a lift of its own boat from this rising tide.
The company has raised $ 100 million in a Series C funding round, money it will use to continue expanding the range of BNPL-like services it provides to organizations that buy goods to run their businesses, to the both in Europe and elsewhere.
The ride is a mark of BNPL’s popularity as a concept in the payments stack, but also the number of investors looking to participate in the act: the funding comes at a valuation of $ 640 million, confirmed. the company, multiplying nearly 4 times since its last round, a $ 35 million (â¬ 30 million) Serie B in 2019. Billie says this is the biggest round to date in the B2B BNPL space – which itself is also quite crowded: competitors in this category, including Resolve, a spin-out of Affirm; and Tillit, which is supported by Sequoia (which also supports Klarna).
What’s also remarkable about Billie’s Tower is that he has a very interesting mix of financial and strategic investors. The D of Londonawn Capital, specialist in B2B startups, led the round, with the participation of internet giants Tencent and Klarna; the previous backers Creandum, Speedinvest, Picus and GFC are also in the round.
Klarna’s investment follows a major strategic deal between her and Billie. As Matthias Knecht, co-founder and co-CEO of Billie, told TechCrunch, the two are integrating their services, and that will mean that in cases where Billie has a more solid payment relationship, but a transaction with the consumer comes in, Klarna will take care of the sale; and in cases where Klarna is present but not Billie and a company purchases, Billie’s services will come into play.
In this context, the company also announces a refinancing of the heavy debt of 200 million dollars per month (money to manage BNPL funding), coming from a consortium of German banks led by VVRB (Vereinigte Volksbank Raiffeisenbank eG), with the participation of Raisin Bank and Varengold Bank.
Billie has been around since 2016 and actually worked on the concept of ‘BNPL’ long before it became an established concept and term, as part of a larger product line for service businesses and their service needs. incoming and outgoing payments. Its ambition was simple: since B2B transactions are more than twice the volume of B2C transactions, there should be more tools for businesses – especially SMEs – to make these transactions as easy to manage as B2Cs.
Its other main product, besides the point of sale financing tool, is a billing service to help businesses raise money from others. (Indeed, this is also the basis of his name, Billie being a reference to âinvoicing.â) Invoicing, Knecht tells me, is still a big part of his business with paying by invoice. says) of how companies want to pay for things. However, the biggest growth opportunity right now is BNPL, so at the moment it’s doubling with this investment.
A logical question might be why the B2C giants of the BNPL space aren’t doing more B2B business directly. Knecht tells me that these are very different data points and market dynamics when it comes to businesses.
âThe reason B2C players don’t do B2B is because they see themselves as strong consumer brands,â Knecht said, highlighting how Klarna and others are increasingly improving their profile via their own applications, a window for buyers to discover and purchase products. âThey are moving away from the simple method of payment to become a shopping experience for consumers. “
But, he added, there are other reasons as well: Corporate purchases are more complex than consumer purchases, and ticket sizes are often 10 times larger than typical consumer transactions. He said these ranged from â¬ 60 to â¬ 100.
And on top of that, the concept of “business” is also more complex: it can include an individual entrepreneur, a limited company, a school, a fire department, and much more. This means completely different funding considerations on BNPL’s side, and a lot of identity and other checks that need to be done.
Over time, of course, you can see how consolidation is set to happen in the space, and so Billie becomes a serious contender for the payments giants – BNPL or otherwise – who might want to create bigger platforms. which more closely integrate this function.
âAs a B2B investor specializing in financial technologies, we closely follow Billie and the development of the B2B BNPL market. Over the past few years, we have built a relationship of trust with Matthias, Christian and Aiga, impressed with their clarity of vision, rapid growth and in-depth experience not only in B2B payments, but also in the broader landscape of payments. risks and regulations. We are convinced that they are on the right track to revolutionize the B2B payments market and we are delighted to join them in the adventure ahead. Josh Bell, general partner at Dawn Capital, said in a statement.
Knecht declined to comment on mergers and acquisitions, but described Klarna as a “close relationship”.