The online business bank Penta has raised another $8.5 million (€7 million) in its latest financing round. That brings the Series B financing to a total of $36.5 million (€30 million). The money was provided by existing investors Finleap, Holtzbrinck Ventures Capital, RTP Global, Presight Capital, S7V, and VR Ventures, led by ABN Amro Ventures.
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Penta wants to offer factoring and commodity financing
CEO Markus Pertlwieser – the former head of digital at Deutsche Bank – who has been in office since the beginning of this month, wants to put the fresh capital into further growth and new partnerships. To do so, the management team led by Pertlwieser and CFO Igor Kuschnir wants to develop target-group-specific offerings. Penta will probably not be granting any loans of its own in the near future, but services such as factoring or goods financing are conceivable, the Handelsblatt quotes Pertlwieser as saying.
Some partnerships already point in the direction in which Penta would like to develop – toward digitalization and networking of the business account: Since December 2020, Penta has been cooperating with the software company Datev, among others. Through this collaboration, Penta customers can manage their accounting digitally from the business account. Also in December, Penta entered into a partnership with Banxware, which, according to the fintech, enables customers to apply for the KfW fast loan completely digitally.
In total, Penta has now already raised nearly $57 million (€47 million) in investor funding. The €30 million from the current Series B round is in addition to $20.3 million (€16.7 million) the online business bank was able to raise in seed and Series A financing rounds over the past two years, a company spokeswoman told FINANCE in response to a question.
Penta offers digital business accounts to CFOs
Penta is just over three years old and offers business accounts for companies of all common legal forms and sizes – from startups to large corporations. Services include an app for expense management, and integration with a company’s own accounting system is also possible. Booked transactions are synchronized in real time, according to Penta.
Some 25,000 customers are already using the Penta business account, including claims company Airhelp, rail subsidiary Clevershuttle and real estate platform Homefully, the Berlin-based company said. Among insiders, Penta is being traded as the N26 counterpart for corporate customers, although N26 is already much further ahead in the B2C sector with an enterprise value of more than $3.6 billion (€3 billion).
Penta has been owned by fintech incubator Finleap since April 2019. The Berlin-based company had acquired Penta with the aim of merging the fintech with Italian company Beesy, which offers accounts for the self-employed. Beesy has since been merged into Penta and the focus is now on SMEs, as former Penta CEO Marko Wenthin told news portal Business Insider in July 2020.
B2B fintech companies and banks face tough competition
Penta faces tough competition. The Finnish fintech company Holvi, whose founder Tuomas Toivonen just bought back from major Spanish bank BBVA earlier this month, is considered the market leader. BBVA had acquired Holvi in 2016. Penta’s other competitors are the Dutch start-ups Bunq and Finom, the Bonn-based fintech Fyrst and the Berlin-based competitor Kontist.
The young companies have to stand up to the traditional banks in particular, which still enjoy a high reputation – especially among SMEs. In return, the fintechs are coming up with new services and additional benefits.
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