Today in B2B payments, B2B platform Sary expands into Pakistan, and Nigerian B2B logistics platform Kwik raises $2 million for enhanced last-mile offerings. Plus, nearly 5 out of 5 executives considered the COVID-19 pandemic to be a business challenge, and digitization is seen as one key to improving working capital.
CFOs and treasurers say uncertainty is a top challenge for meeting all their business needs. The Corporate Cash Management Playbook, a PYMNTS collaboration with Red Hat, Infosys Finacle and Intel, reported that 79% of executives considered the COVID-19 pandemic and related uncertainty to be a challenge and that 73% said the same of overall economic uncertainty.
Companies today must be able to maneuver quickly to find new suppliers that may require payment upfront, and their own customers may be seeking greater flexibility about when and how they pay. They must also be able to find new ways to market and distribute their products and services that require digital and cross-border payment capabilities.
B2B eCommerce platform Sary has bought a stake in Jugnu, leading its $22.5 million Series A round, the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based company announced in a Thursday (March 24) press release.
The transaction was funded by a $75 million Series C financing round and marks Sary’s expansion into Pakistan. It operates Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP).
The company said its focus in 2022 has been to follow its growth in Saudi Arabia last year with an accelerated regional consolidation strategy and bridge efficiency gaps in B2B sales in MENAP. Sary acquired Egyptian B2B food and grocery marketplace MMowarrid earlier this month to expand into North Africa, where it plans build a regional network.
One quarter of B2B payments are still made by check, led by commercial real estate, where 34% of B2B payments are done manually. This could be due in part to the large amounts of money typically involved in commercial real estate sales.
Meanwhile, 28% of transactions in the finance and insurance spaces are conducted via check, as are 26% of transactions in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and a fifth of all transactions in the technology space.
The use of checks for B2B payments has been dwindling steadily overall, as have payment methods such as cash on delivery and prepaid cards. ACH payments have seen a resurgence in use as digitization makes them easier for more firms to leverage, according to 68% of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed by PYMNTS. Digitization also has contributed to an increase in the use of credit cards, wire transfers and real-time payments.
B2B logistics provider Kwik has raised $2 million in Series A funding, BizCrast.com reported Thursday (March 24).
The Nigerian and French-based startup said it will the use the latest infusion of cash to fund customer acquisition, finance expanded operations in Nigeria and increase the number of merchants on its network to 800,000 by the close of the year.
XBTO Ventures, a cryptocurrency finance company with a venture capital arm that invests in digital assets and other startups, led the round. Existing investors also participated, including Attack Ventures, Nabuboto, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and Pulse Africa founder Leonard Steigler.