June jumps to $206 million to help ecommerce players better manage their own money – TechCrunch

The e-commerce market is on track to hit $5.5 trillion in revenue this year, which speaks volumes not only about how many consumers are shopping online today, but also how many companies are out there now, who sell to them. Today, a start-up named Juni from Gothenburg, Sweden, is announcing $206 million in funding — a $100 million Series B and another $106 million in debt — to launch an E -Build a commerce-centric neobank built specifically for this growing group of retailers with tools to help them run their businesses.

Mubadala Capital led the $100 million equity round with previous investors EQT Ventures, Felix Capital, Cherry Ventures and partners of DST Global is also participating. Meanwhile, the $106 million in debt financing that Juni will use for its lending products is coming from TriplePoint Capital.

June was founded in 2020 and launched in 2021, and only completed its Series A last October (it raised $21.5 million in July and another $52 million in October), but growth has been very strong — “several hundred percent”, CEO said Samir El-Sabini in an interview. (There were no actual customer counts.) It doesn’t disclose its valuation, but sources close to the company tell me it’s now in the $800 million region.

Most established banks, and now quite a number of neo-banks, target small and medium-sized businesses as customers. But the gap in the market June identified and filled is that the needs of e-commerce SMBs and those doing business online in general are unique among them.

Ecommerce companies have potentially huge amounts of money going in and out of their accounts, and that money doesn’t necessarily come in a steady stream. You probably work in multiple regions and with multiple suppliers. And in addition to potentially selling through a range of platforms and marketplaces (all of which also add complexity to finances and managing them), they use a range of other digital tools to sell, operate, and support their businesses.

El-Sabini, who co-founded the company with CTO Anders Orsedal and Jonathan Sanders (who is no longer with the company but remains a “silent partner,” El-Sabini said), all had track records of working in digital companies, where they saw an opportunity, not only for themselves, but for their clients as well, to build a bank that takes all of this into account (so to speak) and develops a financial management service that fits this dynamic.

Around the base banking, June’s credit card and capital advance/cashback services (where leverage is deployed), accounting, and analytics are all optimized for the nature of e-commerce businesses’ income and expenses. The platform includes around 2,400 integrations with tools (and the data those tools generate) that businesses could potentially use for their accounting, digital advertising, website payments, and more.

And while that sounds like a very large product with many tentacles, June has actually narrowed its scope over the last year. The company initially targeted both e-commerce merchants and digital marketers, as the latter group also shares similar dynamics, spending in multiple jurisdictions and using a variety of marketing and advertising technologies. Now, more specifically, it’s shifted its target customer and the tools it builds to the e-commerce vertical and the marketing they do.

“WWe focus on e-commerce companies,” said El-Sabini. “But marketing is an important function in any e-commerce business.”

The company was founded during the pandemic, which was kind of a godsend: Suddenly, a lot more consumers were buying a lot more online, and e-commerce companies were scrambling to reach out to and sell to those audiences without going bust Banking partner, who could help with this, was partly the reason for June’s strong growth.

Interestingly, and as you might expect, this need isn’t going away as the pandemic abates. Growth in this sector is definitely slowing now (it’s down at least four percent globally, according to eMarketer and will continue to do so for the next few years), and so are e-commerce businesses.

“The cost base is generally under pressure, and we’re able to offer credit with great insight into our clients’ forecasts so they understand cash flow,” and cash flow is what matters most to these clients, he continued. “Something we also see is fear in the markets. So if you have a long-term partner who can help you and understand your position, that is of course very important. We want long relationships with our customers.”

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s parent company, is a prolific fintech investor (she has backed Brex, SpotOn, GoCardless and many others), and Fatou Bintou Sagnang, the partner who led the investment, said she and the firm evaluated a number of other players in the banking sector focused on SMEs before investing in June.

“It started with looking at SMEs and fintech enablement and we looked for companies that fit that thesis,” she said in an interview. “We like companies that use technology in intelligent ways to reduce costs.” She said they spent more than nine months getting to know young June and liked the focus on e-commerce. “We actually see a many parallels to Brex in the USA. We’ve had some experience with this for sectors, and our thesis is that the next iteration of fintechs challenging incumbents will be more verticalization.”

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