In this week’s Founder x Breega story, we’re introducing you to the B2B payments platform, Libeo. An up-and-coming #fintech, you may have heard of them as having just announced their Series A round, they’ve been making a few headlines.
That’s right, Yet. Another. Funding. Round. Admittedly, there have been a fair few fundraises recently. But this one is a little bit different. Let us tell you why :)
Firstly, there’s the amount, a staggering €20 million for a Series A round, when according to Crunchbase, a typical series A raise is usually less than $9 million.
Secondly, this outstanding series A round took place just ten months after Libeo’s €4 m Seed round last April and just 16 months after their first Pre-Seed raise with Breega. Also pretty impressive given that startups usually go at least 18 months between funding rounds. The Libeo team doesn’t believe in waiting around. :)
And thirdly — and perhaps most interestingly — is the fact that Libeo weren’t actively looking for funding so soon after their last raise. Just like the proverb of Mohammed and the mountain, the Libeo founders didn’t go looking for extra investors, those investors came to them. So although the timing was certainly handy, this was more of an opportunistic raise.
So now we’ve grabbed your attention, let’s talk Libeo :)
Pierre Dutaret (CEO), Pierre-Antoine Glandier (CTO/CPO), and Jeremy Attuil (COO) founded Libeo in January 2019. Having previously run their own restaurant businesses, of which a small chain of hip Parisian tapas bars and bistros (today known as the Panorama group), Pierre and Jeremy were familiar with the daily challenges of running a small business whilst spending hours each week dealing with admin and invoices, Pierre says:
“We found it crazy that, at a time when you can pay your friends in a couple of clicks via your cell phone, companies were still dealing manually with supplier invoices through Excel sheets and IBANs”.
With the help of ex blablacar member and CTO, Pierre-Antoine, they decided to do something about it and launched Libeo.
Libeo is a payments platform, built with SMBs in mind. It allows companies to collect, approve and pay their supplier invoices quickly and easily and thus save many precious hours each month. It’s one headache less for small business owners.
The platform works by connecting companies to each other directly, without them having to go through their banking interface. The digitization of this process both saves time and ensures the security of transactions.
Over 35 000 companies and growing currently use this platform for their B2B payments. Not bad for a company a little over 2 years old. :)
The Libeo founders met Breega Partner, Isabelle Gallo, a few months after launching. Although their platform was still in beta version with no clients yet, both the idea and the team made a big impression on Isabelle. So much so that in November 2019, exactly a year after Libeo was launched, Breega signed a cheque to lead their €2m Pre-Seed round.
Flashing back to 2019, Isabelle tells us:
“The idea of a B2B payments platform for SMBs was simple and made perfect sense in a vast market in need of innovation. I was very impressed with Pierre and his co-founders with their bullish ambition and experienced product teams. Right from the start, they had a very clear vision of what they wanted to do with the platform and how to get there, which is quite rare! more, the virality/network effect that the platform naturally entails was a very attractive bet for Breega from the start. Needless to say, we don’t regret taking a bet on these guys!”.
For CEO Pierre, choosing Breega as their first investor was both a strategic and a personal choice:
“We chose Breega to be our first investors, firstly from a branding point of view as they’ve got a great reputation. Also because as entrepreneurs, along with their operations team, they were able to give us sound and practical advice and support. This is great when you’re a small team starting out. They proved very helpful in closing key recruitments and introducing us to strategic distribution partners”. From a personal point of view, Pierre liked the friendly, down-to-earth attitude of both Isabelle and the Breega team.
Two years, three other investors — LocalGlobe joining for their Seed round and more recently the partners of DST Global and Serena for their Series A — a partnership with SMB software giant QuickBooks, a team of 40 and 26 million euros in funding later… and the fintech is on a fast track.
In Isabelle’s words:
“What Libeo managed to achieve in a few months between their Seed and Series A rounds is incredible. The team has proved they were able to launch a top-notch and very “sticky” product on the market, close strong strategic distribution partnerships and execute on sales whilst demonstrating serious traction”.
Libeo looking forwards
Libeo’s mission is to “Build the best business-to-business payments platform for European SMEs”, they’re well on their way to doing so. With electronic invoice issuing and processing becoming mandatory in EU countries by 2023, their solution is not only relevant but perfectly timed. And they’ll be able to use this latest Series A funding to perfect their product, fuel their expansion into Europe and help them to become the European leader of B2B payment solutions.
It’s always exciting and gratifying when an idea that is both simple and clever catches on and in doing so helps to make people’s and businesses’ lives easier.
So we’re celebrating this Yet. Another. Funding. Raise. that promises great things.
May you go as fast and far as you can team @ Libeo. Team Breega will be there to support you!