MODIFI raises USD24m in equity to create global trade management hub for SMEs
Global fintech MODIFI has raised USD24 million in a Series B funding round, which brings its valuation to more than USD120 million.
The round was led by new investor Heliad Equity Partners with a co-investment from Neva SGR, the venture capital investment vehicle of Italy's leading banking group Intesa San Paolo. Existing investors also participated significantly, including Global Founders Capital, Maersk Growth and Picus Capital. The funds will be used to grow MODIFI's digital trade finance platform for SMEs into a global trade management hub.
MODIFI is the only digital trade finance platform for SMEs that spans the three major trading regions of Europe, Asia and North America – a cluster which encompasses approximately 80 per cent of global imports and exports. It provides SMEs with simple digital solutions to finance their trades, protect them from counterparty risk, and easily track and manage their shipments. The new funding round will power major upgrades to the platform, allowing MODIFI customers to take care of all trade-related activities in one place. This includes finding new trade partners and managing foreign exchange risk, among other things.
In Hong Kong 98 per cent of all firms are SMEs, with exports accounting for 88 per cent of their total revenues. The SME export sector has a lot of potential to grow even further, but securing finance and finding new business partners remain a challenge. Having relied on traditional channels to find new business opportunities, such as trade shows and in-person meetings, SMEs were left stranded once Covid-19 hit. MODIFI's mission is to empower SMEs to trade and grow their business, thus benefiting the Hong Kong economy.
"Smaller businesses lack the tools and know-how to trade with the ease and comfort enjoyed by their larger counterparts. The solutions available out there are fragmented and don't approach the problem holistically. We have successfully digitised the trade finance industry and are now developing our platform into a comprehensive trade management hub that will empower SMEs to take control of their global trade activities. With Heliad Equity Partners and Neva we are delighted to have two new strong partners complementing our existing shareholder base," says CEO and Co-Founder Nelson Holzner.
"MODIFI has not just grown in business and outreach in the last few years but also in its approach to addressing systemic issues related to global trade. We are very happy to support the stellar team around Nelson Holzner, Sven Brauer and Jan Wehrs in their journey to become the leading trade finance and management platform for SMEs. Small businesses represent 90 per cent of all firms worldwide, forming the backbone of local economies. It's critical that we help them grow and flourish," says Falk Schaefers, CEO of Heliad Equity Partners.
"The ability to raise funds and attract investors and industry partners worldwide in a very short time confirms MODIFI's enormous potential to become a billion euro company. It's clear that global trade is in need of digital solutions. MODIFI has already done a lot to simplify and automate paper-heavy trade finance processes, and we are looking forward to seeing the fintech company tackle a broader set of challenges related to global trade," says Mario Costantini, CEO of Neva SGR.
MODIFI successfully launched in the US, Netherlands and Bangladesh in the first half of 2021, after raising a USD60 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. The company currently operates out of 9 offices in New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, Delhi, Mumbai, Dhaka, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Dubai.