Investment

Big private investors back revolutionary financial operating system

Paul McCartney spent the last year in lockdown producing an album. Others have written books. A group of friends based in Paris have not only started a business but raised $22 million to fund it. 

The e-commerce firm, Pennylane, has 500 clients and 75 employees. It was generating $2.4 million in revenues after less than a year.

Its backers comprise wealthy individuals represented by Kima Ventures, under billionaire Xavier Niel; Germany’s Global Founders Capital, backed in 2013 by Rocket Internet’s Oliver and Marc Samwer, and Partech, connected to members of the French corporate establishment like Carrefour.

The three firms provided seed finance of $4.3million, knowing that the Pennylane team, led by Arthur Waller, developed PriceMatch (sold to travel firm Booking.com in 2015). 

The service still helps hotels improve their returns by using internal and external data effectively. Weller has kept his PriceMatch team together, including key developer Tancrede Besnard.  In this January’s funding round GFC and Partech invested another $18 million. 

Pennylane offers Software-as-a-Service, the hottest sector in e-commerce. It helps companies, including family businesses, to unlock, and sort, the data they routinely supply to accountants without realising there are other ways to put it to use.  

According to Partech: “There are too many tools that are poorly synchronised with each other. The collaboration with accountants is archaic. Visibility on activity and cash flows is cruelly lacking.”

Pennylane’s intuitive data displays take account of real-time data feeds, helping management reach the right decisions. Its latest systems put purchasing, sales and banking transaction data on a platform to create full-stack financial management. 

Pennyland has developed all its systems in-house.

GFC says Pennylane’s offering has become an operating system which will help companies navigate crises with far greater certainty.

“Pennylane will become the financial operating system for European SMEs within the five years,” adds GFC partner David Sainteff. 

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