Palo Alto, Calif.-based BlueVine, a 2-year old Israeli fintech startup which provides working capital financing to small businesses, has received a strategic investment from Citi Ventures. This represents a follow-on investment to BlueVine’s $40 million Series C financing in January 2016 led by Menlo Ventures.
Additional previous investors in BlueVine include Lightspeed Venture Partners, 83North, Correlation Ventures, Rakuten (TYO: 4755) Fintech Fund and other private investors.
Citi Ventures’ investment will support BlueVine’s growth as it continues to scale its cloud-based working capital financing platform for small businesses and expand into new market segments. Citi Ventures makes strategic investments in dynamic startups and partners with its portfolio companies and Citi’s global businesses to accelerate their growth and ability to scale.
“With a portfolio that includes Square, Betterment, DocuSign and Optimizely, Citi Ventures invests in segment leaders that are reinventing industries,” said Eyal Lifshitz, founder and CEO of BlueVine. “We are honored to have them as a strategic investor and believe this further validates BlueVine as the leading small business solution for working capital financing. Citi’s industry expertise and large customer base make them an ideal partner as we accelerate our efforts to make working capital more accessible for small business owners.”
Before co-founding BlueVine in 2014, Lifshitz was a principal at Greylock IL (now operating as 83North), and an associate at McKinsey. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, where he was a Carlton Fellow, and an MSc and BSc from Tel Aviv University. He previously served as an NCO and counterterrorism commander at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Other recent developments at BlueVine include the appointment of former Google Capital manager Ana Sirbu to vice president of finance and strategy and the launch of Flex Credit, a platform expansion beyond invoice factoring to offer small businesses a revolving line of credit. BlueVine is currently on track to fund more than $200 million in working capital in 2016.
“BlueVine’s platform addresses pain points like cash flow management for the growing market of small businesses in need of financing,” said Arvind Purushotham, managing director and co-head of venture capital at Citi Ventures. “We’re excited to champion and accelerate the growth of a company that is setting the industry standard in providing expanded access to capital on an easy-to-use digital platform.”
BlueVine offers small businesses fast, simple, and transparent financing solutions to access the funds they need to purchase inventory, cover expenses or expand operations. BlueVine was the first factoring company to develop a fully online, cloud-based platform for invoice factoring, enabling rapid advances on outstanding invoices due in 7-90 days and bringing a 4,000-year-old industry into the digital age. BlueVine also offers Flex Credit — an on-demand, revolving line of credit — through the same online platform. With BlueVine, business owners can focus on growing their business instead of worrying about their bank account.
Citi Ventures accelerates innovation at Citi through a strategic focus on investing, piloting and commercializing new solutions with the potential to transform the future of financial services. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Citi Ventures aims to deliver next-generation experiences for Citi’s customers by investing in startups and experimenting with new technologies through its global lab network. The venture team invests in five key focus areas: Financial Technology, Commerce & Payments, Security & Enterprise IT, Big Data & Analytics, and Marketing and Customer Experience. Citi Ventures accelerates its portfolio companies’ ability to scale through collaboration with Citi’s global businesses and industry experts.
Photo: Eyal Lifshitz, Founder and CEO of BlueVine.