Providing capital financing to small and medium sized businesses often at the mercy of lagging payments from larger vendors has netted Bluevine $18.5 million in funding.
The company is part of a growing wave of financial technology companies (like Taulia, which just raised $15 million, or Tradeshift, which raised $75 million in February of 2014) that are looking to ease the pain of small business billing.
In the latter part of 2014, the Obama Administration actually made this aspect of the payment world a priority with a new initiative to bring businesses large and small into the fold and get folks to pay in a more timely manner.
According to a Pepperdine and D&B study, 66% of small businesses found it difficult to raise new business financing. And small business invoices go unpaid for 55 to 60 days, on average, with past due payments increasing. Small businesses therefore are forced to spend more money to cover cash flow issues, according to the Administration web site.
Bluevine brings the age-old tradition of factoring into the twenty-first century with its service. The company sets up a white-labeled checking account for businesses on its service. Once a customer enrolls they can choose to receive 85% of their payment up front from Bluevine and receives the rest of the cash when a company pays (minus Bluevine’s fee, which ranges from 0.5% to 1% per week).
Typically, according to Bluevine chief executive Eyal Lifshitz, customers are typically getting between 96% and 98% of their invoices, with no lag time between payments. The company’s Series B round is the first disclosed investment from the newly branded 83North, the shop formerly known as Greylock IL, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Silicon Valley Bank, Correlation Ventures and other undisclosed individuals also participated in the company’s latest round.
According to a statement, the company will use the cash to further expand its sales and marketing activity, operational headcount, reach into new industry verticals and add new software integrations.
Since its launch in March 2014, the company says it has processed thousands of invoices.
Beyond new financing, Bluevine is also adding to its executive suite, with the announcement that Ido Lustig, a group manager in fraud analytics at PayPal has joined the company as vice president of risk management. Former Harbourmaster Capital director Stewart Wilkinson is also taking a position on the Bluevine board of directors.
The company issues lines of credit between $5,000 and $50,000 and Lifshitz says it will expand to offer $100,000 lines of credit by the end of the year.
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