Out of stealth: Melio raises another $250M

This week, our portfolio company Melio raised an additional $250 million in its Series D round. The company helps small businesses manage their cash flow by giving them the power to pay how and when it is best for them. A big reason behind its latest financing is the opportunity for Melio to also provide B2B payment functionality to third parties, mirroring a development the tech industry has seen with B2C payments.

In 2017, the three founders of Melio, Matan Bar, Ilan Atias, and Ziv Paz, came to the idea for Melio by initially contemplating some of the payment challenges still faced by the US consumer. They quickly realized they were focusing on the wrong customer. While the U.S. consumer has considerable flexibility in how and when they pay for the goods and services, small businesses had previously experienced no such flexibility. These business owners also found themselves at the mercy of larger vendors’ payment terms, which all but dictated how and when they must be paid for their goods and services. Additionally, these small businesses continue to be the most vulnerable businesses in the economy, as they are more likely to experience monthly fluctuations in their sales, and with much less access to capital from investors and banks. Find out what inspired Adam Fisher to first invest in Melio. 
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In case you missed it

Roadmap: B2B marketplaces: “We’re at the dawn of a renaissance in B2B commerce,” write Kent Bennett, Mike Droesch, and Dhruv Jain. B2C spend may be more top of mind, but B2B markets are many times bigger than B2C markets, and they’re much more offline. Read more.

Byron Deeter on the success of the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index: Speaking on CNBC’s TechCheck, Byron noted that the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index (EMCLOUD) and WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund (WCLD) are up another 60% again in the last year. He also discussed what investors should pay the most attention to in smaller companies to determine which have the most runway. Read more. raises $15M: In a Series A led by Mike Droesch,, which helps freight forwarders improve productivity via its AI platform, raised $15 million. With supply chains under constant stress because of the pandemic, freight forwarding has become one of the hottest startup sectors in the last two years. Read more.

Papaya Global announces Series D funding round: With its latest $250M funding round, Papaya Global is now valued at $3.7 billion, nearly quadrupling its valuation. Read more.

Canva valued at $40B: Canva, the integrated marketplace for designing visual content, announced their $40 billion valuation just months after announcing their $15 billion valuation. Read more.

Reimagining distance learning tools, with help from the gaming industry: Remote learning is clearly going to remain a key ingredient to teaching and learning. But our distance learning tools could be far easier to use, engaging, accessible, and—most importantly—fun. If there’s anyone who could transform the virtual distance learning space into a seamless and likeable experience for kids of all ages—a tall order—it’s the gaming industry. Read more.

Why integrated services are some of the most lucrative layer-cake opportunities in vertical software investing: You can replace a generic third-party service with your own vertical-specific offering that is typically cheaper, better, and more integrated. These integrated services can also meaningfully increase your TAM, and are easy to cross-sell and feel free to your customers. Read more.

Abstracting away the complexity of data engineering

“The modern cloud stack is increasingly complex, but emerging companies make it easier for data teams to transport, work with, and leverage the benefits of data,” write Ethan Kurzweil, Sakib Dadi, Hansae Catlett, and Alexandra Sukin. As they explain in Bessemer’s Data Infrastructure Roadmap, data continues to be generated in a disparate way with various business users wanting to make use of siloed data. Most companies are shifting towards centralizing their data in a repository in a data warehouse, data lake, or lakehouse architecture. However, there is an increased need to move that data and then work with it from source to store to ultimate endpoint as data becomes more important to enterprises of all sizes.

Data models are being run with greater frequency, making the ability to move, access, and work with data in a speedy manner more and more important. Despite a centralized repository for data, the way it moves is not always linear in nature, resulting in a complex, interwoven data architecture where tasks are becoming interdependent on each other. These complex and difficult integrations are developed by engineers who data scientists rely on to maintain the pipelines and connectors to manage how data flows. In most scenarios, these are barely self-serve and take time, coordination, and an investment of engineering resources to properly build. Despite the growing awareness of how important data is to their businesses, there is still significant friction in organizations to leverage data for their needs. This article will elaborate on the products helping to abstract away complexity from data engineering problems. 
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