When it comes to fintech, consumers have been paying close attention in the past decade as banking, credit, investing and other legacy services have received the disruptive treatment. But at the same time, there is a growing trend to build more for the B2B market, and today one of the new hopefuls in that space is announcing funding ahead of a public launch in Q4 of this year.
Sequence, which it wants to describe as a new kind of FinOps stack for B2B businesses — leveraging APIs and other tools, data and analytics to create more responsive pricing, billing and related services — raised $19 million, a seed. It uses it to continue developing its products and hiring more talent.
Sequence is based in London, England and the funding is coming from an impressive list of investors as the company has yet to launch.
Andreessen Horowitz — a Silicon Valley firm that has recently been more active in Europe — led the round, with Salesforce Ventures, FirstMinute Capital, Crew Capital, Passion Capital, Dig Ventures, Fin Capital and 9Yards also participating; Angels in the round include Plaid, Intercom, Jeeves, Gocordless, Marshmallow, Lendable, Hoppin, UIPath, Monzo, Comply and other unnamed founders.
Reports of this seed round and a16z’s involvement, which originally emerged a year ago, drew attention not only from a few big-name backers but also the founders’ track record. Rhea Grover, CEO, founded Feedr, a “cloud canteen” startup that was previously sold to Compass Group; Meanwhile, co-founder Eamonn Jubbawi, who is the chairperson, is one of the co-founders of identity verification startup OnFido. In any case, at that time, the funds were not yet closed and eventually ended up with more investors and a larger volume.
A short note on valuation: Previous reports pegged Sequence’s valuation at $50 million-$60 million, but Grover said in an interview last week that the startup would not disclose its valuation. However, I will point out that there are some factors that buffet that number. “Capital expenditure” has certainly increased in the past year and has put pressure on overall values. But on the other hand, even in the last year, Sequence started its private beta and is revealing some early users like Deliveroo, Pipe, Snake and ReachDesk.
Companies like Stripe, Paddle and Modern Treasury have opened the door to use APIs to incorporate more advanced payments, billing, reconciliation and other revenue-related services – essentially facilitating digital businesses at their core payments and billing companies. Financial stock. A sequence targeting opportunity relates to all of these but is taking a target at a more specific gap in the market.
As Grover explained to me, it’s one thing to make it easy for a company to embed a payment flow into a product. What Sequence wants to do, however, is to create more personalized pricing and payment services for the customer, and to facilitate, at a given moment, unlike what businesses often do in e-commerce transactions.
It does this by parsing and proactively applying the payments and transaction data its business customers already have in their systems through integrations to third-party apps such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Xero, NetSuite and QuickBooks. . (And it focuses on the two primary ways businesses pay each other for goods and services — bank payments or debits — rather than card payments.) In this, Sequence and its investors believe the startup is an early mover in building the infrastructure. Payments software that allows businesses to capture data in real time and feed it into dynamic pricing and payment flows.
On top of this, Sequence is built as a “low code” service, bypassing the need for developers to build, test and ship changes.
“In a B2B environment, when you’re building new products and pricing plans, you want an interface that doesn’t always rely on developers,” she says. “We’re empowering operators to empower themselves.”
The role of no-code and low-code software is often described in terms of being more efficient or reducing red tape in allowing non-technical people to experiment more with the digital products they use, but it has recently taken on a more practical, financial-minded purpose: companies can focus on new product and projects. As they reevaluate their costs and how they allocate their talent resources, services such as billing and payments are also being reexamined.
Sequence cites statistics from Notion Capital, which estimates that B2B businesses today spend 7% to 9% on revenue-generating billing and payments infrastructure, and that includes not only software or SaaS investments, but also the engineers needed to run them.
“We saw a serious pain point and therefore a compelling opportunity around automating and managing payments and finance workflows,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Seema Amble said in a statement. “The Sequence team really impressed us with both a strong team and an early customer set.”