Berlin-based Fintech Pliant Finalizes $28M Series A

Berlin-based Pliant claims it is looking back at a very successful year 2022.

While entering seven additional European markets, it also “recorded a sixfold growth of its customer portfolio.” With the closing of this Series A investment round, the company is “now setting itself up to continue its success story in 2023 and beyond.”

The $28 million Series A round is “led by seasoned Japanese fintech investor SBI Investment who have, for example, previously led the Series A of well-known German Banking-as-a-Service provider Solarisbank and the Series B round of British business banking fintech Tide.”

Malte Rau said:

“Winning SBI Investment as an experienced fintech investor to lead the round is great validation of our approach.”

Existing investors Carsten Maschmeyer’s Alstin Capital, finleap founder Ramin Niroumand through Motive Ventures (the early stage venture arm of Motive Partners, formerly embedded/capital), and neosfer, the early-stage fund of Commerzbank, are “backing Pliant since its pre-seed and seed rounds in August and December 2021 that totaled $20 million, and are reconfirming their commitment in this funding round. Further new investors are MS&AD Ventures from Silicon Valley.”

Pliant owes its rapid growth in recent years “partly to its focused product strategy and unique go-to-market approach.”

Pliant’s B2B credit card platform “enables companies to optimize their payment processes using physical and virtual credit cards that seamlessly integrate into their existing financial processes and stack of software tools.”

Additionally, Pliant leverages “its expertise in B2B credit cards by enabling other financial software companies that it partners with to embed its advanced B2B credit card proposition into their existing product offerings.”

The first two such partners that “launched their respective card programs recently are Candis, an invoice management software company, and Circula, a travel expense and employee benefits software provider.”

Due to its exceptional performance over the last year and continued strong growth potential, Pliant is one of the few fintech startups that “was able to raise a significant financing round despite the current difficult market environment.”

The investment is “a bright spot in a challenging time for startups, with the EY Startup Barometer 2022 reporting a 43% decline in venture capital investment in German startups compared to the previous year.”

Pliant’s Series A round is “the largest fintech funding in Germany thus far in 2023 and a clear sign of the confidence in the company’s vision and unique approach.”

According to Rau, the company intends “to use the capital raised to deepen and expand the technical capabilities of its best-in-class B2B credit card platform and to further leverage its successful go-to-market approach across additional geographies.”

The startup’s very positive outlook and strategic long-term vision “are shared by its investors.”

Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman and President of SBI Investment, commented on the investment:

“Pliant’s vision and unique go-to-market have convinced us that Pliant has the potential to become a dominant B2B card provider”. Ramin Niroumand, Partner at Motive Partners, commented “The strong growth throughout the year, combined with the high level of modularity of the product suite, are reasons that Pliant was able to raise such a significant series A round, despite the current market environment”. Also, Noel Zeh from Alstin: “Since our initial ticket in August 2021 Pliant continuously impressed us with its enormous growth. We – and this is also shown by their exceptional customer retention – are convinced, that Fabian, Malte, and their team are on the right way to build the #1 B2B card provider.”

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