A Canadian startup called Nuula, which aims to create a superapp to provide a range of financial services to small and medium businesses, has closed $120 million in funding, money that will go towards its app and first product. Will use to promote the launch of, a line of credit to its users.
The money is coming in the form of $20 million in equity from Edison Partners, and a $100 million credit facility from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s Credit Group.
The Nuula app has been in limited beta since June this year. The plan is to open it up to general availability soon, while gradually bringing in more services, some built directly by Nuula and many others following an embedded finance strategy: business banking, for example, provided by a third. The service will be party and closely integrated into the Nuula app, to be launched in early 2022; And in addition, the startup will also make liberal use of APIs to bring other white-label services such as B2B and customer-focused payment services, starting first in the US and then to Canada and the UK before further countries across Europe. will expand. .
Current products include cash flow forecasting, personal and business credit score monitoring, and customer sentiment tracking; And monitoring other important metrics, including financial, payments and eCommerce data, are all on the roadmap.
“We’re building the tools in the app to work in a complementary fashion,” CEO Mark Ruddock said in an interview. “Today, businesses can project if they are likely to run out of money, and monitor their credit scores. We keep an eye on customers and what they are saying in real time. We think that for SMBs This requires metrics to be derived from multiple apps in one place.”
Nuula was originally a side-project at BFS, a company focused on small business lending, where the company embraced the idea of better leveraging data to create a broader set of services addressing a similar segment of the market. started watching. BFS became a significant business in its own right (and raised its money from Edison and Honeywell to the tune of $184 million). Over time, it became clear to management that the data aspect, and this concept of a super app, would be critical to how the business grew, and so it did so when it launched the app’s beta earlier this year. Pivoted and rebranded.
Nuula’s ambitions come down to a big trend in the market. Small and medium enterprises have created a huge business opportunity in the world of fintech over the years. Long ignored in favor of creating solutions for the vast consumer market, or the lucrative large enterprise sector, SMBs have proven that they want to invest in better and newer technology to run their businesses, and this has led to a growing number of startups. The crowd is increasing. And big tech companies are bringing services to market to make it happen.
Super apps are also a huge area of interest in the world of fintech, although everything we’ve heard about that area so far is aimed at consumers – the kind of innovation Ratt Nula is trying to push forward.
“Despite the growth in services addressing the SMB sector, it still lacks innovation compared to consumer or enterprise services,” Rudock said. “We thought there was an opportunity to bring innovation to the space. We see this as the app that SMBs will want to use everyday, as we will provide useful tools, insight and capital to empower their businesses.”
Nuula’s preference for building data services that tie all of this together is in keeping with how many Neobanks are also developing services and investing in what they see as their unique selling point. are doing. The theory is as follows: Banking services are, at the end of the day, the same everywhere, and therefore commoditized, and so the more unique value-adds for companies will come from innovating with more interesting algorithms and other data-based systems. Insights and Analytics to empower its users to make use of the best they have at their disposal.
It won’t be the only one addressing that market. Others building fintech for SMBs include Celina, ANNA, Amex’s Kabage (an early proponent in using big data to help SMBs fund loan amounts and build other financial services for them), Novo, Atom Bank. , Zeppelin and giants like Liberis, Stripe, Square. and Paypal, and many others.
The credit product Nuula has built so far is a delicious take of how it hopes to be a useful tool for SMBs, not just another place to get money or manage it. This is not a direct loan service, but something that is closely linked to monitoring customers’ income and outgoing and simply indicating a credit line (which is directly linked to the users’ account, wherever such). Looks like it might be needed).
“Innovations in financial technology have largely democratized what could become the next big player in small business finance,” said Gary Golding, general partner at Edison Partners. “By combining critical financial performance tools and insights into one interface, Nuula represents a new class of financial services technology for small business, and we are excited by the firm’s potential.”
“We are excited to be working with Nuula as they create a unique financial services resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Jeffrey Kramer, partner and head of alternative credit strategy at Ares Credit Group, said in a statement. “The evolution of financial technology continues to open up opportunities for innovation and the emergence of new industry participants. We look to Nuula’s experienced team of technologists, data scientists and financial services veterans to see a new generation of small business financial services solutions on the market.” looking forward to.”