Over the last few years, consumer payments have evolved at a breakneck speed. Customers expect to be able to choose from a variety of payment options, each with its own set of benefits and downsides when it comes time to check out.
B2B transactions, on the other hand, have remained relatively unchanged. Businesses are frequently faced with a simple choice: pay cash or spend time negotiating a finance offer. Some financing alternatives may be available straight from a supplier. Occasionally, businesses will inquire directly with their bank. It’s a time-consuming, bureaucratic, and manual process in every scenario.
By 2028, the market for business-to-business payments will be five times the size of the consumer payments market, with a value of $120 trillion. Despite the fact that consumers now have a wide range of payment choices, most commercial payments are still manual and fragmented.
Meanwhile, Topi, a Berlin-based startup has secured a $4.5M pre-seed funding round co-led by Index Ventures and Creandum. Dominik Richter (Founder of HelloFresh), Max Tayenthal (Founder of mobile bank N26), Thijn Lamers (Founder of Team Adyen), and Fabian Wesemann are among the notable angel investors who participated in the round (Founder and CFO WeFox).
Topi is a financial technology company that specialises in B2B payment solutions. In 2021, Estelle Merle and Charlotte Pallua co-founded the company, which is based in Berlin. Topi is backed by Index Ventures and Creandum, as well as N26, Adyen, Stripe, Sennder, Wefox, HelloFresh, Cloudflare, Personio, and Foodora founders and early employees.
“Businesses make purchase decisions on a nearly daily basis. In B2B sales, however, there are no totally digital end-to-end processes and no customer-friendly financing options. Many businesses, particularly SMEs, suffer as a result of poor purchasing decisions, inefficient capital allocation, and lengthy regulatory processes,” explains Charlotte Pallua, co-founder of topi. “Our company seeks to give business customers the ability to change that by utilising our technology and financial options.”
The company competes with other platforms such as Robinhood, Adyen and Wise.
With this funding, Topi aspires to achieve the perfect Venn diagram of B2B payments, which includes a payment mechanism that does not require any documentation but also includes certain financing options. Topi believes it will be able to provide loans for up to five years with fast approval.
“We see a definite shift toward enterprise consumerization and a huge opportunity in offering digital solutions to SMEs,” says the author. We want to introduce our finance solutions to B2B sales processes, to give additional payment choices, and to help B2B commerce go online while also allowing enterprises to drive client retention.” Estelle Merle, a co-founder of topi, added. “We are very excited to embark on this new journey with our team, and we want to build a fair and transparent fintech in which integrity, diversity, and a customer-first attitude are at the core of our values.”
Topi: Founder story
Charlotte Pallua and Estelle Merle, two of Topi’s co-founders, met while pursuing their MBA at Harvard. Pallua worked on financing strategies for Apple, while Merle previously worked with Goldman Sachs and Via Transportation. Ernesto Jiménez, Topi’s CTO, formerly worked for GoCardless, where he oversaw a large engineering team.
“Until now, B2B payments has been mostly underserved, with a dearth of innovation and a customer-centric product vision. topi makes it possible for every company to save money. We believe that topi’s solution is applicable to practically any business. Their strategy is absolutely original and quite promising.” According to Simon Schmincke, General Partner at Creandum, who supervised the fund’s transaction and previously funded startups such as Klarna, N26, Trade Republic, and Taxfix.