Traxpay, a German startup that has created a platform for businesses in a supply chain to make payments to each other — think PayPal for the B2B world, or an Alipay of the Western world — is making two significant announcements that point to the company’s global growth ambitions–specifically in the U.S. and Asia.
First, it has raised another $15 million, in what CEO John Bruggeman tells me was an oversubscribed round of funding. Led by Commerzbank’s main incubator and Software AG, the Series B round also had participation from existing investors Earlybird and Michael Phillips of Castik Capital.
Second, Traxpay is teaming up with a new strategic partner, MasterCard, in a four-year deal. As Bruggeman points out to me, MasterCard is not taking a financial stake in the company as part of the partnership, but what it will be contributing is its global payment network. “The Series B is for scale,” he says. “The MasterCard partnership is the ability to deliver that scale.”
Traxpay today has customer numbers in the “hundreds.” It’s not yet profitable, and nor is it disclosing revenue.
Up to now, Traxpay (which had previously raised $4 million) has been active mainly in Europe, but it was finding that as it and its customers have grown, there has been a need for a wider remit.
“Customers want to complete payments outside the Eurozone,” Bruggeman says. “Our customers want us to go global. We are going to be in the U.S. by early next year and Asia by early next year.” MasterCard’s network will help Traxpay achieve that: MC’s financial network connects up 150 countries and 22,000 banks, and now Traxpay will be able to run its platform “across that global rail system,” Bruggeman explains.
The opportunity that Traxpay is tapping into is indeed massive — worth some $377 trillion, according to Boston Consulting estimates.
But while companies like PayPal have become one of the de facto standards in how small merchants collect payments from consumers, or consumers send payments to each other, the B2B world has been short on similar solutions.
Part of the reason for this is the complexity involved in handling business transactions, which include the need for covering areas like financing, dynamic discounting, other kinds of modelling, accounting services and so on.
Traxpay’s rise is partly a product of the bigger IT trend, characterized by Marc Andreessen as “software eating the world.” In this case, it’s a matter of a company that has built a single platform that lets it incorporate and automate several difficult features and processes that are part and parcel how companies do business with each other. And the automation means more flexibility and cutting costs — Traxpay says that typically traditional, analog B2B transactions require “special handling” as business terms and conditions get updated between partners.
As we see yet more globalization in our economy, with concept happening in one place, sourcing somewhere else, manufacturing in yet another, and distribution somewhere else, the kinds of services that Traxpay provides will become even more central.
This is part of the reason why Commerzbank was interested in the company.
“Commerzbank is committed to staying at the forefront of innovation, continually offering powerful, new financial solutions that enable global companies to be more competitive and more profitable”, said Holger Werner, Head of Corporate Banking at Commerzbank and Chairman of Supervisory Board of main incubator. “Traxpay, and its B2B Dynamic Payments platform, is a critical component of our enterprise strategy, and paves the way for a unique suite of commercial products that will revolutionize B2B commerce for all of our clients large and small.”
Werner is joining Traxpay’s board along with the funding round, along with Frederic Hanika, SVP of M&A and Corporate Ventures for Software AG.