VCs can’t seem to get enough of buy now, pay later’s B2B counterpart right now. Last month saw raises from Berlin’s Mondu, and the UK’s Tranch and Previse — one of Sifted's UK startups to watch in 2022. Yesterday London’s Playter bagged a $55m debt and equity raise — the split wasn't released — and today it’s Hokodo’s turn.
The fintech, which has joint London and Paris HQs, has raised $40m equity in a Series B round led by Notion Capital, less than a year after its Series A.
What does Hokodo do?
Hokodo is part of the rapidly expanding club of B2B BNPL fintechs that provide loans to businesses rather than consumers. B2B BNPL is designed as a short-term financing tool to help companies manage their cash flow.
Hokodo has built a payments product that gives online B2B merchants flexible payment options at checkout. It’s also partnered with insurance giant Lloyds of London to underwrite its loans. Unlike some of its rivals, it also handles credit scoring, fraud detection, collections, financing and credit insurance in-house — which means Hokodo makes credit decisions in less than a second, cofounder and co-CEO Louis Carbonnier tells Sifted.
Who’s investing in Hokodo?
- Notion Capital, known for investments in GoCardless and Paddle, led the round
- France’s Korelya Capital
- Spain’s Mundi Ventures
- France’s Opera Tech Ventures
What’s the B2B BNPL market like?
There are nine B2B BNPL startups in Europe right now. Billie is the most well-funded player, valued at $640m after raising a $100m Series C last October — which saw B2C BNPL king Klarna invest and choose it as its B2B partner.
Berlin’s Mondu and London’s Playter, Tranch and Previse have all scored cash injections in the last month that edged their valuations that bit closer to Billie’s.
But so far, none of these rivals have expanded into more than two countries. Hokodo, meanwhile, is operating in six markets: The UK, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain. The fintech’s three cofounders hail from the UK, Belgium and France — which Carbonnier credits with giving the company an international mindset from the outset.
What’s next for Hokodo?
- The company plans to double its headcount in the next 18 months. It currently has 85 employees.
- It also intends to expand to Italy, Scandinavia and Poland next, and “cover all the key geographies of the European Economic Area within the next 18 months”, Carbonnier tells Sifted.
- More product verticals are also on the cards: Hokodo is plotting a loan solution for B2B merchants that still haven’t transitioned online and do business over telesales.
Hokodo stands out from its ever-increasing pool of rivals with its international presence — Carbonnier says “every three months, we’ve entered a new country”. Given that B2B merchants tend to start exporting to neighbouring countries sooner than B2C companies, this has weight. But as the economy begins to bite, rapid internationalisation isn’t too in vogue. Can Hokodo’s growth be sustained?
Amy O’Brien is Sifted’s fintech reporter. She authors Sifted’s fintech newsletter and tweets from @Amy_EOBrien