When it comes to fintech, consumers have received the most attention over the past decade, with banking, credit, investing and other legacy services receiving the disruption treatment. But at the same time, there is a growing trend to build more for the B2B market, and today one of the newer hopefuls in that space is announcing funding ahead of a public launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
Seriesthat wants to create what it describes as a new kind of FinOps stack for B2B businesses — APIs and other tools to create more responsive pricing, billing and related services, leveraging data and analytics to do so — has raised $19 million, a starting round that it will use to continue developing its products and hiring more talent.
Sequence is based in London, England, and funding comes from an impressive list of investors as the company has yet to launch.
Andreessen Horowitz – the Silicon Valley company that has recently become more active in Europe – is leading the way, with also Salesforce Ventures, Firstminute Capital, Crew Capital, Passion Capital, Dig Ventures, Fin Capital and 9Yards; angels in the round are the founders of Plaid, Intercom, Jeeves, GoCardless, Marshmallow, Lendable, Hopin, UiPath, Monzo, Comply and others not mentioned.
Reports of this seed round, and the involvement of a16z, actually came to the fore about a year ago, with some of the focus coming not only from the major financier, but also from the track record of the founders. Riya Grover, the CEO, previously founded a “cloud canteen” startup called Feedr, which was sold to Compass Group; meanwhile, co-founder Eamon Jubbawy, who is the chairman, was one of the co-founders of the identity verification startup Onfido. At the time, the financing still had to be closed and eventually ended up with more investors and on a larger scale.
Small note on the valuation: Previous reports put 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 would like to point out that there are a number of factors that can distort that number. The ‘cost of capital’ has certainly risen over the past year and has put pressure on valuations in general. But then again, also in the past year, Sequence has launched its private beta revealing a few early adopters like Deliveroo, Pipe, Snyk and Reachdesk.
Companies such as Stripe, Paddle and Modern Treasury have opened the door to making it easier for digital businesses — not necessarily at their major payment and billing companies — to use APIs to bring more modern payments, billing, reconciliation and other revenue-related services into their financial stack. . The opportunity that Sequence is targeting is related to all of these opportunities, but focuses on a more specific gap in the market.
As Grover described it to me, making it easier for a company to incorporate a payment stream into a product is one thing. However, what Sequence wants to do is make it just as easy to build pricing and payment services that are more personalized to the customer and for a particular moment, similar to what businesses often do with e-commerce transactions.
It does this by leveraging payment and transaction data that its enterprise customers may already have in their systems, but were unable to parse and proactively apply it, through integrations with third-party apps such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Xero, NetSuite, and more. QuickBooks . (And it focuses on two primary ways companies pay each other for goods and services — bank or debit rather than card payments — for the payments themselves.) In this, Sequence and its investors believe the startup is an early mover in building buildings. payment software that allows businesses to capture and input data in real-time into dynamic pricing and payment flows.
Additionally, Sequence is built as a “low code” service, eliminating the need for developers to build, test, and submit changes.
“If you’re building new products and pricing plans in a B2B environment, you want an interface that doesn’t always rely on developers,” she said. “We enable operators to empower themselves.”
The role of no-code and low-code software has often been described in terms of being more efficient, or simply cutting red tape in helping non-technical people get more hands-on with the digital products they use themselves. , but it has recently taken on a more pragmatic, tax-focused goal: At a time when companies are re-evaluating their spending on new products and projects and how they allocate their talent resources, so are services like billing and payments.
Sequence quotes numbers from Understanding Capital who estimate that B2B companies today spend a surprising 7% to 9% of revenue building billing and payments infrastructure, and that includes not only software or SaaS investments, but also engineers needed to implement them .
“We have seen an acute pain point and therefore attractive opportunities around automating and managing payments and financial workflows,” Seema Amble, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said in a statement. “The Sequence team has really impressed us with both a strong team and initial customers excited about the vision.”