What a week this has been. Between budget 2020 announcements and changes to Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions, we’ve seen an influx of startup funding news, and, frankly, it’s becoming hard to keep up.
It’s not unusual to see a string of deals closed off just before the end of a quarter. But, it’s also possible that this week’s flurry of activity shows we’re coming out the other side of a COVID-19 funding slump.
It may also come as no surprise that several of these fall into the fintech category, which has seen something of a boost throughout the pandemic.
There’s also tech to help businesses operate online, a B2B sales platform giving small businesses a boost, and crisis management software, which feel particularly apt in the current environment.
So, without further ado, here’s who’s been making bank this week.
Airwallex: $57 million
First up, Aussie unicorn Airwallex bagged another $57 million in an add-on to its already massive Series D round.
The round saw a first-time investment from Skip Capital, the fund headed up by Kim Jackson and her husband, Atlassian co-founder and co-chief Scott Farquhar, as well as repeat backing from Paul Bassat’s Square Peg, and other existing investors.
“A major shift in the way businesses operate from offline to online is something Airwallex predicted from our inception,” Airwallex co-founder and chief Jack Zhang said in a statement.
“However, 2020 has fast-tracked this transition in a way no one could have foreseen. Businesses are now racing to embrace digital transformation at an unprecedented rate.
“We are more certain than ever that the digital economy is going to be the centre of the world’s economic structure.”
Capify: $14 million
Another fintech, small business lender Capify also bagged $14 million, as it reopened its books again after a brief COVID-19-related hiatus.
While some fintechs have flourished during the pandemic, Capify founder and chief David Goldin told The Sydney Morning Herald the past six months has been the most challenging time he’s ever faced as an entrepreneur.
But, he also noted the opportunity as we emerge from the crisis.
“We believe demand by SMEs seeking access to unsecured funding will be at unprecedented levels because many businesses either do not qualify for the Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme and require much-needed working capital to grow, or have already accessed the scheme and still need additional capital,” Goldin said in a statement.
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“Furthermore, we are looking for opportunities where we can assist our industry peers who don’t have access to capital during this time by providing funding to their customer base.”
Snappr: $14 million
Online photography marketplace Snappr, backed by cricketing legend Steve Smith, secured $14 million in funding this week.
The round was led by San Francisco-based investment firm Basis Set Ventures.
And, while it doesn’t look like Smith invested again, it appears the startup’s new valuation could mean significant returns.
According to the Australian Financial Review, this latest investment gives Snappr a valuation of “four or five times” the $14 million.
LivePreso: $5 million
Automated digital sales platform LivePreso, formerly known as SalesPreso, has announced a rebrand and a $5 million raise, as well as a brand new chair in former Xero managing director Chris Ridd.
Designed to improve enterprise sales by automating presentation design, LivePreso is also reacting to a COVID-19 shift in behaviour.
“We see investment in business processes, cloud, sales and marketing automation maturing — something that’s largely been brought forward by COVID-19 and the need to work remotely in an efficient way,” co-founder and chief Aaron Cooper said in a statement.
“As business transitions to remote working, providing a beautiful and powerful client experience via guided or virtual selling is gaining popularity,” he added.
“Virtual selling will continue to be the norm even when face-to-face is an option.
“Virtual selling is here — and here to stay.”
TradeSquare: $2.5 million
Just five months after it was founded, TradeSquare has raised $2.5 million for its B2B marketplace connecting small businesses with wholesale providers.
Through a beta trial, the startup has already onboarded some 200 wholesalers and 1,000 small businesses. And all of that was before the platform’s official launch yesterday.
Speaking to SmartCompany, founder and chief Einat Sukenik compared the digital space to a trading square, where local businesses would connect and make lasting connections.
“It’s just a piece of ground. But suddenly when you make it a place for people to speak, to interact, to create a long relationship, that’s where the magic happens,” she said.
“We are really supporting local businesses in unprecedented times, and it’s more important than ever.”
WeMoney: $2 million
In yet more fintech news, Perth startup WeMoney exploded from stealth mode this week, with a $2 million funding round.
The app is designed to help people manage their finances, while also encouraging healthy emotional connections to money, and bringing a sense of community into the mix too.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in the financial spectrum or the stack. Money is a really hard, confusing and boring topic,” founder and chief Dan Jovevski told SmartCompany.
“When you have heaps of complexity in your life … trying to manage all of that at scale is very very difficult for a lot of people,” he added.
“It actually leads to some pretty bad outcomes.”
Catalyst: $1.8 million
And finally, Sydney startup Catalyst has raised $1.8 million to build out its tech helping organisations identify and respond to crisis events — think, natural disasters, supply chain disruptions and, y’know, pandemics.
The funding round was led by Investible, and also included Jelix Ventures and Eleanor Venture, the Australian Financial Review reported this week.
Launched in October last year, the startup is reportedly bringing in annual recurring revenues of $1 million, and counts the likes of the University of Sydney, GPT Group and Vicinity Centres among its clients.
And founder and chief Joshua Shields sees a global opportunity here.
“We saw in our consulting work that we were training and consulting a lot of board members and C-suite executives, and these people were expected to make pretty big decisions when things go wrong,” he told the AFR.
“So we saw the opportunity to use technology to bridge that gap.”
Did we miss anyone? Let us know.