Balance Payments Inc., a financial technology startup focused on the business-to-business market, today announced that it has secured a $56 million Series B funding round.
Forerunner Ventures was the lead investor in the round. It was joined by the venture capital arms of Salesforce Inc. and HubSpot Inc., as well as more than a half dozen other backers. The investment reportedly values Balance at $356 million.
A growing number of business-to-business firms, or firms that focus on selling merchandise to fellow companies rather than to consumers, are creating e-commerce websites. The goal is to streamline the procurement process for buyers. Moreover, there are multiple e-commerce marketplaces that focus specifically on the business-to-business market.
New York-based Balance has developed a platform that makes it easier for business-to-business merchants and marketplace operators to process payments. Using the platform, a company can create a self-service checkout page for its online store. Balance-powered checkout pages enable buyers to make purchases in a few clicks as they would on a consumer e-commerce website, according to the startup.
Companies can customize Balance’s platform for their requirements using a built-in application programming interface. The startup says that its platform makes it possible to provide multiple payment options to buyers. Balance also enables companies to offer financing: a firm could, for example, give customers the option to split a purchase into multiple installments.
Alongside its other capabilities, Balance offers a set of features focused specifically on e-commerce marketplaces. The startup promises to assist marketplace operators with tasks such as applying transaction processing fees to purchases.
“We’ve entered the fourth ‘Industrial Revolution’ that will take global trade online, creating a truly efficient market,” said Balance co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Bar Geron (pictured, left, with co-founder and chief technology officer Yoni Shuster). “Balance is bringing centuries-old systems into the modern-age through the power of digitization.”
Balance launched its platform last February. The platform has since been adopted by hundreds of merchants and dozens of marketplace operators, according to the startup. Balance’s go-to-market efforts place a particular emphasis on companies in areas such as the lumber, chemicals, steel, retail and food industries.
“For years, the consumer has led the charge in modernizing how we transact, but innovation in B2B commerce has lagged far behind the B2C space,” said Forerunner founder and managing partner Kirsten Green. “There is incredible potential to modernize wide-ranging aspects of how B2B commerce is conducted in the digital age, and the market opportunity is enormous–only 7% of the $120T B2B payment volume is conducted digitally today.”
Balance will use the proceeds from its latest funding round to accelerate customer acquisition efforts. The startup also intends to expand its engineering, sales, customer success and product teams. Balance reportedly expects to grow its 70-strong workforce to about 100 employees by year’s end as part of the effort.
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