Two former employees of Apple and Goldman Sachs have raised $4.5 million in pre-seed funding for a new B2B payment startup, topi.
Index Venture sand Creandum co-lead the pre-seed round of the Berlin-based company alongside a number of prominent angel investors, includingg Dominik Richter (founder of HelloFresh), Max Tayenthal (founder of N26), Thijn Lamers (founding team Adyen), and Fabian Wesemann (founder and CFO WeFox).
The market for business-to-business payments solutions stands at $120 trillion, and will be five times the size of the consumer payments market by 2028. Yet while consumers can now choose between a multitude of payment options, most payments for commercial trade remain manual and fragmented, says Charlotte Pallua, co-founder of topi.
“Companies make purchasing decisions almost on a daily basis. Yet there are no fully digital end-to-end processes in B2B sales and no customer-friendly financing offers. The result for many companies, especially SMEs, are suboptimal purchasing decisions, inefficient use of capital or lengthy bureaucratic processes," she says. "Our company aims to provide business customers with the opportunity to use our technology and financing solutions to change just that.”
At Apple, Pallua led a global team working on financing programs, enabling customers to bulk buy Apple devices through different financing options. Co-founder Estelle Merle spent four years at Goldman Sachs in London structuring financing and hedging strategies for corporate clients. Most recently she was in charge of European expansion of Via Transportation, a B2B SaaS mobility software company valued at over $3 billion.
The founders are joined by CTO, Ernesto Jiménez, wholed a 100-people engineering team at GoCardless and strong team members from Apple, Salesforce, McKinsey, Via, and Mozilla.
Says Merle: “We see a clear shift towards the consumerisation of enterprise and a great opportunity in providing digital solutions to SMEs. We want to bring our financing solutions to the B2B sales processes, to offer new payment options and thereby contribute our part to allow B2B trade to shift online and allow companies to drive customer retention.”