Founded in 2020, Aria has concluded a new €50 million debt fundraising with one of the world’s leading asset management and investment fund management companies, M&G Investments.
This is in addition to €20 million already secured in 2022. With this transaction, the French fintech, a leading company in the embedded invoice financing market, is increasing its financial capacity and accelerating its business development by expanding its offer.
Aria is developing a financial solution implemented via API to B2B marketplaces and vertical SaaS, aiming to offer instant payment options to their customers. Thanks to this debt fundraising, Aria will be able to finance the invoices of freelancers and SMEs, for whom the need of cash flow is a key issue, particularly in an unfavorable and uncertain macroeconomic context.
As a result of the downturn in bank lending, SMEs are looking for alternative sources of finance such as invoice financing. However, this kind of service is only offered by banks to their key account customers for distribution and fraud risk reasons.
Embedded lending is about providing funding directly implemented in the software and marketplaces used by these small businesses. This addresses the needs of a very underserved population, with an excellent user experience, better risk analysis and controlled distribution.
Within two years, the start-up has become the leading solution for freelancers, attracting marketplaces such as Malt, Brigad, StaffMe and Acracy, vertical SaaS companies such as Jump and more traditional recruitment agencies such as Sept-Lieues.
Over the last twelve months, the fintech's business volume has increased 20-fold, exceeding the €100M milestone in terms of financing for its clients. Aria is now positioning itself as a market leader. Over the rise, the embedded lending sector is experiencing rapid growth of 38.9% per year, reaching 7.8 billion euros in 2022, with prospects of 26.7 billion euros by 2029.
After being focused on solutions offered to the freelancers, and thanks to this debt raising, Aria plans to extend its offer to new verticals by addressing marketplaces and SaaS dedicated to VSEs and SMEs.
Aria also plans to increase its total payroll by 60% by 2023, by recruiting 15 new profiles. These include the three main areas of the company: tech/product, operations and finance, marketing and sales.
Vincent Charles Gervais, Partner at M&G Investments commented: “We are delighted to have closed a €50m private bilateral asset-backed securitisation with the talented Aria team. M&G structured credit funds made this multi-tranche investment to support the fast growing freelancer economy in France, further contributing to the development of the Future of Work”.
Clément Carrier, Aria co-founder and CEO commented: “We founded Aria with the ambition to give all businesses access to financing solutions. And this, regardless of the economic situation in which they find themselves. We are therefore offering the possibility for freelancers and small businesses to be paid instantly and directly using the tools and services they use on a daily basis. This funding will strengthen Aria's position while giving us the means to continue our growth on a European scale. We are delighted to see the confidence and interest of a leading European investor like M&G Investments in our business.”
Vincent Folny, Aria co-founder and COO added: “We are pleased to have closed a debt facility with M&G, a prestigious FTSE100 insurance company. This partnership will allow us to successfully achieve our European expansion and the scaling of our credit activities to better serve freelancers and SMEs with financing solutions.”