Brite Funding Image by TheDigitalWay from PixabayBrite Payments has raised $60 million in a funding round led by specialist B2B software investor Dawn Capital. This is the company’s first large funding round, according to Crunchbase. Other participants in the round included Headline and existing investor Incore.

Swedish headquartered Brite Payments, provides modern payment solutions with instant payments and payouts powered by open banking. The company was founded in 2019 by Lena Hackelöer and is one of the fastest-growing fintech startups in Sweden. The investment comes following expansion into Denmark with instant payments and payout and its first year of profitability.

2022 was a very successful year for Brite, with a doubling of transaction volume and revenues. It is now available in 25 countries in Europe. With links to 3,800 banks, touching more than 350 million end consumers.

Lena Hackelöer, Founder & CEO of Brite Payments
Lena Hackelöer, Founder & CEO of Brite Payments

Lena Hackelöer, Founder & CEO of Brite Payments, said, “We see account-to-account payments gaining momentum across Europe, but merchants are still struggling to realise the full potential for their businesses. That’s why we’ve built a complete instant A2A payments and payouts offering that can be plugged into any checkout, while eliminating operational hassles such as settlement accounts, reconciliation or FX. 2022 was our breakthrough year, and with this funding round, we’re ready to accelerate our growth and bring Brite to more markets and checkouts across Europe.”

What will it use the investment for?

Brite revealed that it would invest in cementing its position in existing markets, international expansion and product development. Enterprise Times asked Hackelöer about the expansion.

She replied, “We already have an offering in 25 markets across Europe, though our product coverage is strongest across the Nordics, the Baltic countries, and Benelux (Belgium and the Netherlands). With the funding we are looking to expand into the markets in Europe that we don’t currently cover, which includes countries outside the Eurozone currency union that are still deeply integrated into the broader European community.

“Alongside this, we’re also looking to extend our product offering in existing markets. For example, we will be looking to add instant payments alongside our existing instant payout capabilities. The investment will also be used to reinforce our business operations, helping us to build up several regional hubs by bringing on additional local expertise. In doing so, we want to lead the instant bank payments movement and develop new solutions.”

When asked about an investment strategy, Hackelöer seemed to indicate that there wasn’t one, saying, “First and foremost, the funding is going to help us to accelerate our growth by expanding into new markets in Europe and strengthening our presence in the markets that we are already in. There is a huge instant payment opportunity that we believe can be captured through organic growth. That will be our main focus now that we’ve received the funding, and it’s something we’re confident will be a big success.”

Brite will invest in the product development of the Brite Instant Payments Network (Brite IPN). Powered by open banking, IPN is a proprietary network that connects merchants and banks to deliver instant payments 24/7/365. Together with support for currencies both inside and outside the Eurozone. Brite differentiates from many open banking payment platforms in that it can accept and pay in the currency of choice.

Hackelöer also noted that Brite would further grow the Brite IPN. Also enable more people to benefit from open banking and account-to-account (A2A) payments.

The investors

Enterprise Times asked Hackelöer what made Dawn Capital stand out. She replied, Dawn has a track record backing some of Sweden’s biggest fintech success stories, including Tink and iZettle. They are joined in this round by Headline, a global fund with an outstanding team that also shares our vision for instant bank payments. Crucially, these new investors have a clear thesis on the A2A payments space. It’s important for us to work with investors who understand the European payments landscape and are aligned with our vision for the future of instant bank payments and the potential of open banking.”

Josh Bell, General Partner, Dawn Capital, said, “We are on the cusp of open banking 2.0. The prospect of real-time account-to-account payments becoming mainstream across Europe is on the horizon, and Brite stands to be the category leader. We’ve been on the ground in this space from the start, with early investments in Swedish fintech leaders, including iZettle and Tink, and we believe Brite is on an equally stellar path.

“Lena is an extremely impressive CEO with first-rate domain knowledge and the all-round skills to build another market-leading global fintech from Europe. Deploying a driven bootstrap approach, Lena and her talented team have built a company with an impressive product and have rapidly reached profitability – a real feat for an early-stage open banking startup. We now can’t wait to help power Brite onto the world stage.”

Incore Invest increased its investment in this funding round. Whether that means its share of the business remains unchanged or increased was unclear. Nicolai Chamizo, Partner, Incore Invest, said, “Brite Payments has built the technical foundation for tomorrow’s payments – and I believe they will go from strength to strength as open banking payments continue to gain acceptance. We have been closely aligned with Brite’s vision for instant payments and payouts since the start, and it was a natural step for us to strengthen our position and deepen our commitment as Brite achieves this significant milestone.”

Enterprise Times: What does  this mean

The world of Fintech investment was hot. Brite is bucking a trend that has seen capital funding of fintech startups plunging globally by 49% year over year to $23 billion in the first half of 2023. (Source S&P Global). Similar trends have been identified by KPMG in the UK. The investors clearly see that Brite is a solution that will meet a need. That Hackelöer is seemingly not focused on acquisitions means that she believes Brite can capture a significant market share and outcompete the many rivals that are emerging.

It could be a turbulent time for fintech startups over the next few months. It will be interesting to see whether investors decide it is soon time to consolidate rather than invest in new entrants. For Brite, this is a significant funding round, that should help it expand quickly.

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