This may surprise you, but individual shoppers are not the only ones who like to shop online no matter the size of the business– businesses like to buy from other businesses online as well. The problem is that B2B payments are not as simple as taking a credit card and paying for items in your cart a la Amazon, but a rather nightmarish process full of headaches. So, the Israeli start-up Balance set out to solve this problem with some interesting ideas that business owners will want to hear.
If you were wondering what kind of businesses buy from other businesses– we’re not talking about AirTags, cool t-shirts and new remotes for PlayStation 5, but rather steel, wood, chemicals, food, and more. These are things that cost a lot– I mean a lot of money– and there are quite a few marketplaces that sell these raw materials and products, only to do so is not as simple as making an Amazon purchase. Balance offers a check-out system for such marketplaces, so that when a business is ready to make a purchase, it can pay however it wants: check, bank transfer, credit card (all with or without installments). And, what’s more, is that the other party receives the money instantly.
Almost unsurprisingly, those who are behind Balance are Bar Geron and Yoni Shuster, PayPal veterans, who founded the new startup in 2020, just as the massive rise of online purchases was occurring as vendors were suddenly unable to travel around the world. In a conversation with Geektime, Geron said that despite the successful launch, they too feel the difficulties of supply chains and claimed that specific industries such as shipping and steel pose difficult challenges.
So, what exactly differentiates you from your competitors in the field?
Geron: "We are very focused on solving the complete experience of online B2B trade. This means managing the entire POS experience – credit cards, bank payments, invoices, and credit. We want to support the existing flow of trade, that is, conditions for payment as used in 90% of B2B transactions.”
Today (Tuesday) Balance announced a series B fundraising round of $56 million which was led by Forerunner with participation from Hubspot Ventures, Lyra Ventures Lightspeed, Salesforce, Ribbit, Avid Ventures, Upwest, Jibe, and Gramercy Ventures. The former CMO of Shopify and the CTO of the B2B marketplace Faire also participated in the round. So far, the company has raised $87 million to date and employs 60 people in its offices in Israel and New York.