Business-to-business payments platform Nium announced Monday that it has raised more than $200 million in Series D funding and has seen its valuation rise to more than $1 billion.
The company, which is now headquartered in Singapore but is moving to the Gulf region, described the investment as “the first B2B payments from Southeast Asia.”
Leading the round was Riverwood Capital, Temasek, Visa, Vertex Ventures, Atenum Capital, Beacon Venture Capital and Rocket Capital Investments, along with a group of angel investors such as Gokul Rajaram of DoorDash, Vicky Bindra of FIS and Arjun Sethi of Tribe Capital. Including unused funding, Nium has raised $300 million to date, Prajit Nano, co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch.
The B2B payments sector is already hot, but it’s not penetrated, according to some experts. To donate an idea of how hot the business is, Nano said, NEOM was seeking $150 million for its fourth round, received $300 million in commitments from enthusiastic investors and settled on $200 million.
“This is our fourth or fifth fundraiser, but we’ve never had that considerate of interest prior – we even got our term papers in five days,” he added. “I think that interest is because we have succeeded in creating a highly regulated global platform, which gives us access to a lot of networks. This is an environment where payment is visible, and our core is promoting frictionless commerce and enabling anyone to use our platform.”
Nium’s unused round adds fuel to a fire in which a number of companies are all striving for the $120 trillion-a-year global B2B payments market: Last week, Paystand raised $50 million in Series C funding to make B2B payments cashless, while Dwolla raised 21 $1 million for an API that allows businesses to build and facilitate rapid payments. In March, Higo brought in $3.3 million to do the alike in Latin America, while Balance developed a B2B payments platform that allows merchants to offer a variety of payment methods. He raised $5.5 million in February.
Nium’s approach is to provide access to the global payment infrastructure, including card issuance, debit and credit, and banking as a service through a single API. Nano said the company’s network enables customers to send money to more than 100 countries, pay in more than 60 currencies, accept money in seven currencies and issue cards in more than 40 countries. The company also prides itself on transferring funds, issuing cards and banking licenses in 11 jurisdictions.
Francisco Alvarez Demaldi, co-founder and managing partner at Riverwood, said in an email that combining software — as well as regulatory licenses — and running a fintech infrastructure platform on behalf of unused banks and businesses is a hyper-growth global trend.
She followed Riverwood Nium for many years, and it was her vision for the coming that got the company interested in being a part of this tour. Alvarez Demaldi said, “NEOM has an amazing combination of significant market opportunity, a talented founder and team, and we believe the company is poised for global growth based on core secular technology trends such as increased real-time payment capabilities and the spread of cross-border commerce.
“As a centralized payment infrastructure in a single API, Nium is a catalyst that unlocks cross-border payments, local accounts and card issuance through a network of local market licenses, partners, and banking relationships to facilitate the movement of funds around the world,” he added. “Businesses of all kinds are embedding financial services as part of their consumer experience, and Nium is a key global enabler of this trend.”
Nano said the unused funding will enable the company to relocate to the United States, which accounts for 3% of Neom’s revenue. He wants to increase that to 20% over the next 18 months, as well as expand into Latin America. The investment also gives the company a 12 to 18-month runway for further M&A activities. In June, Nium acquired virtual card issuer Ixaris, and in July it acquired Wirecard Forex India to offer in the Indian market. He also plans to expand the company’s payments network infrastructure, invest in product development, and add 700 people to Nium.
Nium already counts hundreds of institutional companies as customers and plans to engage thousands more in the next year. The company processes $8 billion in payments annually and has issued more than 30 million virtual cards since 2015. Meanwhile, revenue has grown more than 280% year-over-year.
All of this growth puts the company on the path to an initial public offering, Nano said. He’s already spoken to the people who will officially aid the company begin this journey in the first quarter of 2022.
“Unlike other companies that hoist money for unused products, we aim to expand on existing collections of what we do,” Nano said. “The US is a unused market, but we have a pleasing brand and we will use the unused round to provide a better customer experience.”