Global fintech MODIFI today announced $24M in funding, which brings its valuation to more than $120M.
The round was led by new investor Heliad Equity Partners with a co-investment from Neva SGR, the venture capital investment vehicle of Italy’s leading banking group Intesa San Paolo. Existing investors also participated significantly, including Global Founders Capital, Maersk Growth, and Picus Capital. The funds will be used to grow MODIFI’s digital trade finance platform for SMBs (small-to-medium businesses) into a global trade management hub.
MODIFI is the only digital trade finance platform for SMBs that spans the three major trading regions of Europe, Asia, and North America - a cluster that encompasses approximately 80% of global imports and exports. It provides SMBs with simple digital solutions to finance their trades, protect them from counterparty risk, and easily track and manage their shipments. The new funding round will power major upgrades to the platform, allowing MODIFI customers to take care of all trade-related activities in one place. This includes finding new trade partners and managing foreign exchange risk, among other things.
In the US SMBs account for 98% of exporting companies but only contribute 33% of the export value. Difficulties in finding business partners, securing finance, and poor online payment options impede their ability to grow. Having relied on traditional channels to find new business opportunities, such as trade shows and in-person meetings, SMBs were left stranded once COVID-19 hit. MODIFI’s mission is to empower SMBs to trade and grow their business, thus benefiting local economies. The company has already financed more than $100m worth of trades working with US sellers and buyers.
“Smaller businesses lack the tools and know-how to trade with the ease and comfort enjoyed by their larger counterparts. The solutions available out there are fragmented and don’t approach the problem holistically. We have successfully digitized the trade finance industry and are now developing our platform into a comprehensive trade management hub that will empower SMBs to take control of their global trade activities. With Heliad Equity Partners and Neva we are delighted to have two new strong partners complementing our existing shareholder base,“ said MODIFI CEO and Co-Founder Nelson Holzner.
“MODIFI has not just grown in business and outreach in the last few years but also in its approach to addressing systemic issues related to global trade. We are very happy to support the stellar team around Nelson Holzner, Sven Brauer, and Jan Wehrs at MODIFI in their journey to become the leading trade finance and management platform for SMBs. Small businesses form the backbone of local economies, and it’s critical that we help them grow and flourish,” said Faulk Schaefers, CEO of Heliad Equity Partners.
“The ability to raise funds and attract investors and industry partners worldwide in a very short time confirms MODIFI's enormous potential to become a billion euro company. It’s clear that global trade is in need of digital solutions. MODIFI has already done a lot to simplify and automate paper-heavy trade finance processes, and we are looking forward to seeing the fintech company tackle a broader set of challenges related to global trade,” said Mario Costantini, CEO of Neva SGR.
MODIFI successfully launched in the US, Netherlands, and Bangladesh in the first half of 2021, after raising a $60m debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. The company currently operates out of nine offices in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Dubai.