The Rise of SME Tech

Why SMEs

After many years of development, the consumer tech space has been saturated, and it’s rare to find consumer-facing startups that have the potential as what Facebook or TikTok had at their early stage. Most of the big opportunities such as mobility, B2C logistics, and B2C e-commerce have been captured already. The relatively low market-entry barrier and the high scalability nature of B2C businesses always attracts the best talents and the most funding at the very early stage.

On the other hand, enterprise B2B technologies have also been well developed in many markets because it is very attractive to entrepreneurs due to the nature of large business customers. Large enterprises typically have higher willingness and ability to pay, and the market is reasonably concentrated.

When it comes to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), the situation is very different. There are four reasons that the SME market is less attractive to entrepreneurs. 

  1. Compared to selling directly to consumers, selling to SMEs has a relatively longer sales cycle, resulting in a lower user growth rate – a lower scalability in terms of customer base. 
  2. Compared to large enterprises, SMEs usually have a lower purchasing power and a lower stability, which means a higher churn rate.
  3. Compared to large enterprises, SMEs are highly fragmented, meaning a lower ROI on startups’ marketing budget and a lower scalability in terms of revenue.
  4. Compared to startups targeting large enterprises, companies selling to SMEs can hardly build a high market barrier by dominating a large share of the market, resulting in a high level of competition at a later stage once the business model has been validated.
ConsumersSMEsEnterprises
ScalabilityExtremely highMediumLow
Contract/Ticket Size/Purchasing PowerSmallMediumLarge
Price SensitivityHighMedium – HighMedium
Sales CycleShortShort – MediumLong
Product Standardization LevelHighHighMedium – High (Customizations are often required)
Market ConcentrationLowLowHigh
Potential Competition OutcomeMonopoly/OligopolyOligopoly or no dominantMonopoly/Oligopoly
Market Barrier (non-tech part)LowMediumHigh
Table. Comparison of startups targeting different customer groups (Source: Plug and Play Ventures)

Therefore, the nature and dynamics of the SME market makes this group of customers less attractive to entrepreneurs and leaves this huge market underserved. However, a huge underserved market means a huge potential opportunity. In many countries SMEs are a major contributor to the local economy. For example, with 34% of its GDP coming from informal businesses, Latin America and the Caribbean is the region with the most active informal economy in the world. For some other regions like  Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia SMEs also contribute more than 30% of the local GDP.

A research paper from the Wharton School presents 4 major challenges that LatAm SMEs are facing: (1) technology that falls behind; (2) underdeveloped human capital; (3) an obstacle known as ‘marketing’; (4) restrictions on loans.

  1. Technology that Falls Behind: SMEs invest comparatively little in technology. And when they do, often they acquire equipment, machinery and software that is inappropriate. Why? “Because, in order to modernize yourself, the first thing you have to do is to focus on the core of the business and only later think about technology,” notes Juan Carlos López, an executive at Neoris, a multinational consulting firm.
  2. Underdeveloped Human Capital: In most small Latin American companies, the dominant way to get hired is through personal recommendations, notes Andrés Escobar, an economist at the University of Andes and specialist in public administration. Juan Carlos Echeverry, professor at the University of the Andes, agrees. “Small and medium-sized companies often lack career planning programs because they don’t have appropriate hiring practices that identify job candidates’ skills, weaknesses, aptitudes and knowledge.”
  3. Lack of Marketing: Experts agree that SMEs know how to produce goods but they often don’t know how to sell them. “They have a hard time adopting a marketing strategy in which the focus of the business is the customer; in which markets are segmented, new business opportunities become more visible, and a company moves into new areas,” says Ángela Enríquez, a marketing expert and dean of the Sergio Arboleda University, based in Bogotá.
  4. Restrictions on Loans: Loans are a scarce resource for SMEs for a variety of reasons: their informal [or underground] nature; the administrative disorder that characterizes some SMEs; their lack of leadership; the absence of real [loan] guarantees; and a shortage of [business] information [about small companies]. 

To sum up, when both the B2C and the large enterprise B2B markets have become saturated, many entrepreneurs start to pursue the colossal opportunities in the underserved SME market by fulfilling the unmet demand from SMEs.

Figure. GDP contribution from SMEs in different markets (Source: IMF)

A large portion of SMEs are focusing on emerging markets which are highly fragmented and underserved. Emerging markets today are the world’s main drivers of global growth and wealth accumulation. They cover a dominant share of the world’s population and natural resources. Emerging market countries represent 59% of the total global GDP (based on PPP-adjusted USD), which is a significant expansion over the past years; in 2006 these countries represented less than half of global GDP. 

Figure. Developed and emerging market share of global GDP (Source: Ashmore

Companies in the SME tech space

Figure. Small-to-medium enterprise (SME) tech market map (Source: Plug and Play Ventures. See appendix for company details. Download PDF version.)

Investment opportunities in SME tech

SMEs in the major markets

Given the nature of SME markets, investors care most about the potential market size – where the SME tech startups can have the highest scalability. Based on the data from the World Bank, there are 28 markets that have more than one million micro/small/medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Beyond the number of SMEs, investors would also like to consider the availability of technologies tailored to SMEs. For example, the US market is fairly developed with many tech solutions tailored to SMEs, and this means there are limited new opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, for markets such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand, Kenya, Colombia, and Peru, the local tech markets are still in their early stage, and most of the existing startups are focusing on consumers. The SME market has been left far behind.

EconomyYearNumber of Enterprises, MSMEsPopulationSource of MSME DataIncome GroupNumber of Employees, Total MSMEs
China201356,061,6001,350,695,000SAICUpper middle72,369,000
United States201027,827,900309,326,225SBAHigh77,107,300
Indonesia200822,655,831INDMinSME&CoopLower middle
Nigeria20048,400,000USAID/Chemonics Inc.Low
Brazil20115,109,076196,935,134IBGEUpper middle27,655,533
Italy20113,840,27460,723,569SBS EurostatHigh11,754,830
Mexico20083,656,619114,968,039INEGIUpper middle13,622,701
Korea, Rep.20123,599,13350,004,000KOSISHigh: OECD15,980,795
Tanzania20123,000,00047,783,107UNIDOLow5,200,000
Bangladesh20032,987,560BBSLow
Pakistan20052,911,751PFBSLow
Turkey20112,587,31973,058,638TSI – Turkish Statistical InstituteUpper middle6,213,363
Egypt, Arab Rep.20062,453,56772,990,754AFDBLower middle7,745,270
Thailand20062,264,525OSMEPLower middle
Spain20112,239,81446,174,601SBS EurostatHigh8,129,205
Australia20112,134,87222,323,900ABSHigh7,407,000
France20112,132,69065,371,613SBS EurostatHigh8,250,752
Germany20111,904,66181,797,673SBS EurostatHigh14,612,268
Canada20101,743,75334,126,547INDCAHigh7,399,285
United Kingdom20111,690,73062,752,472SBS EurostatHigh6,444,282
Russian Federation20101,669,439142,960,000EIBHigh: non-OECD13,731,900
Kenya20061,600,000MTILow
India20061,564,0001,143,289,350MinMSMELow9,309,000
Poland20101,477,00838,183,683SBS EurostatUpper middle5,644,691
Colombia20051,389,69843,184,026MinCITLower middle
Taiwan, China20111,279,78423,262,000SMEAHigh8,337,000
Iran, Islamic Rep.19971,255,38262,542,531UNIDOUpper middle709,295
Peru20101,197,96329,262,830CODEMYPEUpper middle
Table. Markets with more than 1 million MSMEs (Source: World Bank)

Key metrics for evaluating investment opportunities

When it comes to evaluating investment opportunities, the market size is one of the key factors similarly to B2C and large enterprise B2B markets. Because the SME market is typically very fragmented, a startup would only acquire a small percentage of the market at best. Therefore, a massive market is a MUST for investors to consider an investment.

For example, for startups providing fintech, supply chain and logistics, and e-commerce solutions to SMEs, the following metrics may be a good starting point to narrow down the opportunities when sourcing and evaluating startups.

  1. $ of TPV (Total Payment Volume)
  2. # of end customers (consumers)
  3. # of restaurants, hotels, clinics, mom-and-pop grocery shops, brick and mortar retail stores, etc.
  4. # of grocery/e-commerce/D2C retail deliveries
  5. $ of ticket size
  6. # and size of incumbent players in respective market
  7. $ of resident income and spending
  8. National currency volatility
  9. Political and infrastructure stability

Business models for SME-tech startups

SME-tech startups will usually use the following business models. 

  1. SaaS-based subscription fee
  2. % of transaction volume as transaction fee
  3. Commissions from sellers and/or buyers for marketplaces
  4. Interest revenue from customer deposit
  5. Revenue share with SMEs
  6. Profit/Cost-savings share with SMEs
  7. Platform model (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) – offering free products/services to end users while monetizing users through other channels (advertising, marketing, data analytics)

However, investors may have different preferences about the business models. Different business models mean different growth potentials. For example, given that the SME market is highly fragmented and that SMEs have a low willingness to pay, using a SaaS-based subscription fee model will indicate a limited potential of the business.

Different business models mean different growth speeds. For example, charging a SaaS-based monthly subscription fee will mean an upfront cost for SMEs, making it difficult to sell the product. While sharing the extra revenue/profit from using the startup’s product with SMEs will sound more acceptable to SMEs and make it easier to acquire those customers.

Success factors for SME-tech startups

The success factors for SME-tech startups are similar to those for the other startups. For early-stage investment opportunities, the team comes right after the market size. Since the problems faced by SMEs are very different from the challenges faced by large enterprises or consumers, the right founding team should have deep knowledge about the SMEs’ pain points in the targeting industry and solid experience in communicating with the SMEs.

Specifically, since most of the tech solutions for SMEs are not new deep technologies but applications tailored for SMEs, experience in user growth in the SME space will be very important.

  1. Team with solid experience in the relevant industry
  2. Team with understanding of the respective market dynamics
  3. Team with strong business development experience working with SMEs
  4. Team with strong product development experience
  5. Team with quick go-to-market capabilities
  6. Validated and clear product value proposition and high product scalability 
  7. Product that is easy to deploy
  8. Business model that is sensible for the market and potential customer persona 
  9. Low customer acquisition cost

This research is co-authored by Fan Wen and Janis Skriveris at Plug and Play Ventures.

Disclaimer: The article is not, and should not be regarded as “investment advice” or as a “recommendation” regarding a course of action, including without limitation as those terms are used in any applicable law or regulation.


Appendix

The following data is collected from Crunchbase, PitchBook, Tracxn, and LinkedIn. Please visit the companies’ official websites for more information.

Category 1: Finance Tools

e.g. Accounting, Digital Banking, Insurance

Accounto AG
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Root, Luzern, Switzerland
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Accounto is combining unprecedented automation with rock-start support to take all the hassle with bookkeeping away from small businesses.

Alloy Card
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Alloy Card is a first programmable consumer credit card, allowing its users to have a better credit card experience.

Back Office
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: West Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Back Office is a technology-based company that helps small businesses by automating their bookkeeping and accounting.

bexio
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: Rapperswil, Zurich, Switzerland
Funding Status: M&A
Blurb: Bexio offers cloud-based business and accounting software solutions to manage their customers, write quotes and invoices, and more.

delt.ai
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Delt.ai develops an AI-powered platform that manages finances from transactions to records.

Fostrum
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: The Neobank for Digital & Web-enabled Businesses

Haslle
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Haslle streamlines payment cards, expenses, subscriptions, and invoices with employees in an organized way.

Likvido
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Copenhagen, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Likvido is a fintech startup that automates the entire invoice-to-cash process and offers flexible financing solutions for SMEs.

Mercury
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Mercury is a bank for startups, engineered in Silicon Valley for tech companies.

Monit
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Monit provides business intelligence tools to banks. It enables banks to provide financial management tools to its business customers. Businesses are provided with features such as predict/plan cashflow, identification of savings opportunities, presentation of key financial insights, and more. Software can be integrated to the business’s accounting package.

MyfinB
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: MyfinB is a transform bank data or financial statements into management reports.

Novo
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Novo is powerfully simple business banking for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.

Nupay
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Haryana, Haryana, India
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: NUPAY is a next generation “Neo Banking” Business Payments Platform for Large Enterprises

OPEN
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Open develops and offers an online platform for banking and intercompany settlement.

Oyster
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: M&A
Blurb: Oyster is an ebook subscription service and ebook retailer.

PeakEngine
Founded Year: 2014
HQ Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Funding Status: Accelerator/Incubator
Blurb: PeakEngine develops an accounting software designed to organize financial information and make it elegantly useful. The company’s software reduces paperwork, accounting tasks and increase account usage and also offers systematic accounting, enabling small and medium sized businesses to make accounting work faster and more productive.

Perilwise
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Perilwise is an Online platform providing personal and commercial insurance solutions.

Pilot
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Pilot offers the best bookkeeping, tax, and CFO services for growing businesses.

Upflow
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Upflow is a technology company building a payment platform for B2B businesses.


Category 2: Capital Financing

e.g. Working Capital, Invoicing, Fundraising

Akseleran
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Akseleran is a peer-to-peer lending platform

BeneFactors
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Mont Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: BeneFactors Ltd. is a Rwandan factoring company,

Billie
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Billie is a fintech startup that is reinventing the way small businesses manage their working capital.

CashMe SpA
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Brescia, Lombardia, Italy
Funding Status:
Blurb: CashMe is the leading invoice trading Italian startup.

Finiata
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Finiata provides working capital financing for freelancers and SME’s over a fully automated data driven scoring technology.

Finturi
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: The Hague, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Making invoice financing secure, low-cost, quick and easy using blockchain and artificial intelligence

KyoPay
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Yangon, Myanmar
Funding Status:
Blurb: KyoPay is an operator of an online marketplace for invoice receivables intended to build sustainable alternative solutions to liquidity for small-and-medium-sized enterprises.

Lendflo
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Invoice financing platform leveraging technology to make the process faster, simpler and cheaper for Small and Medium Businesses

LendInc
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Financial technology platform that provides credit options to SMEs in Mexico.

Lidya
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Lidya is a financial services platform to improve access to credit and finance across frontier and emerging markets starting with Nigeria.

LivFin
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: LivFin is a non-banking financial company registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

MatchPlace Limited
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: New generation Fintech platform. Integrating Financial Services solutions, bridging the gap between Financial Institutions and SMEs

Mintifi
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Online lending startup based in Mumbai.

Monevia
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bydgoszcz, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland
Funding Status: Private Equity
Blurb: Monevia is a provider of liquidity enhancement solutions for SMEs segment in Poland.

Prospa
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Funding Status: IPO
Blurb: Prospa is an Australian owned and operated online lending service provider for small businesses within the region.

Reap
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Reap’s online payments platform enables small businesses to pay expenses and collect revenue at anyone, anywhere and entirely via credit card

SME Finance
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Funding Status:
Blurb: provides non-standard factoring solutions to small medium-sized enterprises.


Category 3: Human Resources

e.g. HR Tools, Benefits, Training, Travel Management

Abodoo
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Abodoo is the fastest growing global talent platform for SmartWorkers that intelligently matches and reduces unconscious bias in hiring

Bambee
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Bambee allows small and medium-sized businesses to hire an HR manager for just $99 a month.

Benepass
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Benepass is a fintech platform that provides benefits cards for startups and small and medium-sized businesses.

Collective Benefits
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: We provide benefits that matter for the self-employed that make it easy for companies to attract, retain and reward self-employed workforces

Coople
Founded Year: 2009
HQ Location: Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Coople operates as a staffing platform that connects companies and workers.

Crew
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Crew is a communications app that keeps everyone on the same page for everything work-related.

Ease
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: A cloud-based workforce solution that helps businesses connect with and manage their freelance workforce all in one place.

Eddy HR
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Provo, Utah, United States
Funding Status: PE Growth
Blurb: Eddy HR is a human resources assistant for small to midsize businesses.

Factorial
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Factorial is a human resources software platform for small and medium companies that integrates vacation management and more.

GoCo.io Inc
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Houston, Texas, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: GoCo.io offers software that helps businesses simplify their human resources systems.

Gusto
Founded Year: 2011
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Gusto provides a cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management solution for businesses.

Justworks
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Justworks is an online platform that handles the payroll and payments procedure, benefits facilities, and compliance issues of its users.

Mistro
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Mistro offers a platform that provides unique benefits plan to each remote employee.

Okarito
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Travel management platform for SMBs

Pilot
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Pilot helps companies pay remote team members. We take care of payroll, benefits, compliance and onboarding for international teams.

Savvy
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: The Pocket Recruiter For Busy, Professional Women

Zenefits
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Zenefits delivers a complete, all-mobile HR experience for small and medium businesses.


Category 4: Supply Chain & Logistics

e.g. Supply Chain , Procurement, Inventory

Arzooo.com
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Retail tech platform empowering 300,000+ small retailers in electronics space to compete with big organised players and increase sales

Chiper
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Cundinamarca, Distrito Especial, Colombia
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: We are a platform that enables corner stores in Latin America to grow and thrive.

Clubbi
Founded Year: 2020
HQ Location: Rio De Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Clubbi empowers small merchants across Brazil by optimizing their supply chain and operations through technology

Consentio
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: An end-to-end FOOD Supply Chain Transaction Platform

Dagangan
Founded Year: N/A
HQ Location: Singapore, Central Region, Singapore
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Dagangan is an online demand aggregation platform that provides an ordering system and delivery service.

Dropee
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Dropee is a SaaS-enabled marketplace that connects local independent retailers with brands via an ordering app.

Ezay
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Yangon, Yangon, Myanmar
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Ezay is a rural e-commerce startup.

GrowSari
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Pasig, Rizal, Philippines
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Growsari is helping to build the future of Sari Sari stores in the Philippines.

GudangAda
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: GudangAda is an online B2B marketplace for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

Kweza
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Johannesburg, NA – South Africa, South Africa
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Kweza is a service that enables informal retailers to order products at the best price and receive deliveries directly to their stores

MaxAB
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: MaxAB is a B2B e-commerce marketplace that connects food and grocery retailers to suppliers.

oico
Founded Year: 2020
HQ Location: Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: B2B marketplace for construction materials

Rapicare
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: We enable healthcare companies to purchase supplies digitally and receive them directly at multiple destinations.

Sokowatch
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Sokowatch revolutionizes access to essential goods and services by connecting small shops to the digital economy.

Tajir
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Tajir is a B2B marketplace for mom and pop stores.

Telio.vn
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Hanoi, NA – Vietnam, Vietnam
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Telio is a business-to-business commerce platform that provides a range of products for groceries.

tiffin foods
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Campina, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Marketplace, Mobile App, B2B food market

Truck Lagbe
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Bangladesh’s leading digital platform for booking trucks

Turbodega
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Lima, Lima, Peru
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Turbodega provides a software management tool designed to digitize the supply chain of small grocery stores.

Udaan
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Udaan is a B2B trade platform that brings manufacturers, traders, retailers, and wholesalers into a single platform.

Ula
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Ula is a marketplace platform that focuses on modernizing distribution and credit processes in the traditional retail sector.

Vori
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Vori is a mobile ordering app that allows customers to order easily and faster.


Category 5: E-Commerce

e.g. E-Commerce Tools, Delivery, Store Digitization

99RetailStreet
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: 99RetailStreet is a common commerce platform on cloud targeted at the large unorganized retail segment comprising of Kiranas/ Kades.

BigCommerce
Founded Year: 2009
HQ Location: Austin, Texas, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: BigCommerce is a SaaS provider for merchants running online businesses.

Bond
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Bond delivers outstanding #postpurchase experiences for DTC brands.

CloudCommerce
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: CloudCommerce operates as a cloud platform that sellers manage global online marketplaces.

Dumpling
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Dumpling empowers individuals to launch, run, and grow independent grocery shopping and delivery businesses.

Eiya
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Funding Status: Accelerator/Incubator
Blurb: Eiya is a developer of an online shipping application intended to reduce traffic and pollution in Mexico in 100% ecological way.

GuruHotel
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: A distribution ecosystem that connects with multiple hospitality-related technologies.

Halosis
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Cengkareng, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Halosis is building AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology.

Marathon Myanmar
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Yangon, Yangon, Myanmar
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Marathon Myanmar is a delivery service platform.

PrestaShop
Founded Year: 2007
HQ Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce solution that powers more than 250,000 stores worldwide.

Prime Commerce
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Prime Commerce is a provider of end-to-end e-commerce strategy and solutions intended to help brands and SMEs to transform their business online.

Valienta
Founded Year: 2020
HQ Location: Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Valienta is a marketplace that connects retailers with social sellers in LatAm.

Vueltap
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bogotá, Distrito Especial, Colombia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Vueltap is a crowdsourced express delivery and logistics service for businesses.

Weidian
Founded Year: 2011
HQ Location: Beijing, Beijing, China
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Weidian operates as a Chinese e-commerce platform

Youzan
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Funding Status: IPO
Blurb: Youzan is a mobile retail solution provider.

Zoey
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Zoey helps B2B and wholesale businesses take orders online anytime, anywhere, with any device.


Category 6: Payments

e.g. Payment Management, Orders, Point of Sale

BentoBox
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: BentoBox is a hospitality company that develops a mobile operations platform for restaurants to automate tasks.

Bold
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Bogotá, Distrito Especial, Colombia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Offers financial services to SMBs in Colombia

Cajero
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Bogotá, Distrito Especial, Colombia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Payment facilitator for Micro-commerce in Colombia + Andean region

ChowNow
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: Playa Vista, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: ChowNow powers branded online ordering systems for independent restaurants through the restaurants’ own websites.

Clip
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Clip is the terminal that allows businesses to easily accept all electronic payments methods.

Dinger
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Yangon, Yangon, Myanmar
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Payment Localisation

Drip
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: United States
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Drip is an all in one point of sale and management platform built specifically for counter service restaurants to manage their entire business in one place.

DotPe
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: DotPe is an innovative offline technology platform digitising merchant’s customer engagement with mobile discovery, ordering and payments.

Lightspeed POS
Founded Year: 2005
HQ Location: Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Funding Status: IPO
Blurb: Lightspeed provides point of sale and ecommerce solutions for retailers and restaurateurs to manage their businesses.

Nupay
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Haryana, Haryana, India
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: NUPAY is a next generation “Neo Banking” Business Payments Platform for Large Enterprises

Olo
Founded Year: 2005
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Olo is a SaaS digital ordering and delivery platform for restaurant brands.

PayMe
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Gîza, Al Jizah, Egypt
Funding Status: Accelerator/Incubator
Blurb: PayMe is an application platform that allows its users to conduct electronic payment with a credit card using smartphone.

Stone Pagamentos SA
Founded Year: 2013
HQ Location: Jardim Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Funding Status: IPO
Blurb: Stone is a payments acquirer, licensed by VISA and Mastercard to accredit merchants, process and authorize credit card transactions.

Stripe
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Stripe is a developer-oriented commerce company helping small and large companies accept web and mobile payments.

Swipe2pay
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Kampala, Kampala, Uganda
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: swipe2pay is a payment solutions, that empowers SMEs to accept both card and mobile money as a mode of payment

Toast
Founded Year: 2011
HQ Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Toast is an all-in-one point-of-sale and restaurant management platform for businesses in the food service and hospitality space.

TouchBistro
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: TouchBistro is an iPad-based restaurant point-of-sale system enabling owners to manage reservations and take orders instantly.

Upserve POS
Founded Year: 2011
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: M&A
Blurb: Upserve POS is an iPad point-of-sale app for restaurants, cafes, salons, spas, retail shops, studios and other local businesses.


Category 7: MarTech

e.g. Marketing Tools / CRM / Customer Loyalty Programs

Agile CRM
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Agile CRM is an All-in-One CRM for growing businesses.

Close
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Close is the inside sales CRM of choice for startups and SMBs.

Copper
Founded Year: 2011
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Copper offers customer relationship management solutions for companies that use Google applications.

LumiNode AI
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: The Next Generation Marketing Automation Tool – Optimize and Automate Your Campaign Management with Artificial Intelligence

Nento
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Nento provides the most innovative customer retention tools that help you boost your revenue with few clicks and data analysis.

Omnirio
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Singapore, Central Region, Singapore
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Omnirio manages your retail business in one platform with real time data from seamless integrations.

Oyster Technology Group
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Dallas, Texas, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: OTG enables SMEs to display products and services on a in-transit geo-targeted advertising network.

Payowallet
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Payowallet is a mobile wallet application and loyalty solution provider that allows consumers to pay with their mobile at merchants locations while at the same time, allow earning rewards, collect points, and discounts. The payment at store can be made by scanning QR-code.

Pipedrive
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Pipedrive is the first CRM platform developed from the salesperson’s point-of-view.

Pique
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Hanoi, NA – Vietnam, Vietnam
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Pique helps turn visitors into customers, with an AI recommendation engine proven to turbocharge ecommerce growth.

Punchh
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: San Mateo, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Punchh is a company providing digital marketing products for brick and mortar retailers, combining AI and machine learning technologies.

PushSend
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: PushSend is a SaaS marketing platform that combines email campaigns, landing pages, and event marketing.

Remesh
Founded Year: 2014
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Remesh offers an AI-powered platform that enables users to have live conversations with their customers at scale.

SendPulse
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: SendPulse Artificial Intelligence makes E-mail marketing better


Category 8: Data Analytics

e.g. Business Intelligence, DevOps, Cybersecurity, RPA

Bewica
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Funding Status:
Blurb: Bewica helps small businesses be more cyber secure with automated risk assessments, management and cyber insurance

Budibase
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Budibase is an open-source web app builder, designed for speed and customization.

Clubhouse Software
Founded Year: 2014
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Clubhouse Software is a project management platform developed for modern software teams.

Datameer
Founded Year: 2009
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Datameer is an agile analytics lifecycle platform that allows enterprises to decipher the value of all their data.

Datree
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Datree is a git-based policy engine for engineering teams to enforce coding standards and security policies within their git workflow.

Figma
Founded Year: 2012
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Figma is a collaborative interface design tool that enables the entire team’s design process to happen in one online tool.

Koopol
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Charleroi, Hainaut, Belgium
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: The Meaningful Price Monitoring for Brands

LayerCI
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: We build a SaaS platform that helps developers find flaws in their code.

Map Tag
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb:

Meisterwerk
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Meisterwerk is your practical app for easy and efficient job and resource planning – whether in the office or at the construction site.

OneClick.ai
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Bellevue, Washington, United States
Funding Status:
Blurb: OneClick.ai provides an automated platform that enables businesses and developer access AI.

Opsera
Founded Year: 2020
HQ Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Continuous orchestration for next gen DevOps – Automate any CI/CD stack, build pipelines for any app, deploy anywhere.

Passbolt
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Esch-sur-alzette, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Open source password manager for teams

StackHawk
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: StackHawk is a computer software company that specializes in website and software maintenance and detecting bugs.

Tellius
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Reston, Virginia, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: AI-Powered Analytics. Uncover Hidden Insights Faster with Natural Language Interface


Category 9: Other

e.g. Marketplaces (talents, vendors, etc.), Workspace

Bloom Impact
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Fintech platform that is digitizing access to financial services for emerging market MSMEs. Currently operating in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gloat.com
Founded Year: 2014
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Gloat.com is an AI-based anonymous career development platform allowing users to both know their worth and get concrete offers in real time.

GorillaSpace
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Singapore, Central Region, Singapore
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: GorillaSpace is the marketplace of choice for all your workspace needs.

Honeypot
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Funding Status: M&A
Blurb: Honeypot is Europe’s developer-focused job platform, matching tech talent with companies.

Kuaifawu.com
Founded Year: 2014
HQ Location: Beijing, Beijing, China
Funding Status: Early Stage Venture
Blurb: Kuaifawu.com provides company registration, taxation, patent and trademark registration to Chinese start-ups and SMEs.

Legal Sphere
Founded Year: 2018
HQ Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Accelerator/Incubator
Blurb: Legal Freelance Platform

MeetFrank
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: MeetFrank is a talent recruitment app.

MydreamPlus
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Beijing, Beijing, China
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: MydreamPlus is a co-working space startup based in Beijing.

Notarize
Founded Year: 2015
HQ Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Funding Status: Late Stage Venture
Blurb: Notarize documents online! Digitizing industries. For the 1st time, buy or sell your home, execute a mortgage or loan, sell a car online.

onetool
Founded Year: 2019
HQ Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: onetool is a free platform where you can discover, subscribe & manage your SaaS tools.

OSOME
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: Singapore, Central Region, Singapore
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Hassle-free and super-responsive online Accounting, Company Incorporation, Corporate Secretary service in Singapore, Hong Kong, and UK

Qibangbang
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Beijing, Beijing, China
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: One-stop platform for company registration, accounting services, legal services, and trade mark registration for SMEs

PitchMe
Founded Year: 2017
HQ Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Funding Status: Seed
Blurb: Skills-based talent marketplace introducing multilayered profiling of skills and innovative matching algorithms.

Sprintlaw
Founded Year: 2016
HQ Location: Chippendale, New South Wales, Australia
Funding Status: Unknown
Blurb: Sprintlaw is a cloud-based law firm serving small businesses and entrepreneurs.

WeWork
Founded Year: 2010
HQ Location: New York, New York, United States
Funding Status: Corporate
Blurb: WeWork is a commercial real estate company that provides shared workspaces for technology startups and services for other enterprises.

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