By Steve O'Hear TC
Billie, the Berlin-based fintech startup that offers a B2B invoicing and payments platform, has raised €30 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Creandum, alongside SpeedInvest, Rocket Internet’s GFC and Picus.
Founded in 2017 by the same team behind SME online lending platform Zencap, which exited to Funding Circle in 2015, Billie wants to bring to B2B invoicing and payments the same level of convenience seen in B2C payments and e-commerce.
Claiming to be Germany’s leading “one-stop shop” for handling all outgoing invoices of B2B sellers, including sending invoices, collecting payments and invoice financing, Billie’s customers range from SMEs, large e-commerce players and transnational marketplaces.
“As B2B transactions are more than twice the volume of B2C transactions, the potential to help our customers is enormous. And, up to now, this market is unserved,” Billie co-founder Dr. Matthias Knecht tells me.
“We’re able to place ourselves in the middle of B2B payments because B2B sellers often face long payment terms until getting paid, administrative burden to handle collections on unpaid invoices and severe economic risks from payment defaults. Meanwhile, B2B buyers often face rigid one-size-fits-all payment terms that are not tailored to the cash-cycle needs of their business. As a result, they revert to old-fashioned working capital loans to cover their liquidity needs.”
To fix this, Billie currently provides two core solutions.
The first is a checkout financing solution for B2B online stores, which embeds a financing option in the online checkout process. “It enables instant financing of the customer’s purchase directly at the online point-of-sale, and takes away all administrative hassle and default risk from the seller,” explains Knecht.
The second is SME invoice factoring, which the Billie co-founder describes as a fully automated platform that handles all outgoing invoices of SMEs.
“Small and medium-sized businesses can handle all their outgoing invoices through our platform, get instant financing for each invoice (i.e. they do not need to wait 90 days to get paid by their customers), and also outsource the collections process as well as coverage of default risk to Billie,” he says. “It’s an exciting, highly automated ‘piece of mind’ product that let’s SMEs focus on what they do best and have Billie handle the operational burden of invoice management and default coverage.”
With today’s injection of capital, Knecht says the startup plans to offer new solutions that are specifically targeted at the buyer side of B2B transactions by handling all processes around payables. This could include letting B2B buyers flexibly choose payment terms and reducing the bookkeeping hassle by acting as a single creditor.
“We will furthermore start rolling out our solutions across Europe at some point, as the need to turn B2B transactions into a frictionless experience exists across countries,” he adds.