Zervant – part of the new wave of P2P and e-invoicing?
Just when I thought it was all getting a little boring, it looks like the world of P2P and especially e-invoicing is getting exciting again.
Remember the days when something dramatic happened regularly – when Tradeshift were disrupting and OB10 were getting upset? Then Ariba got bought by SAP and OB10 became Tungsten.
But for the last couple of years, it’s all been a bit samey. There have been some significant acquisitions – Perfect bought Hubwoo, Basware bought Verian but that seems relatively mundane. Perhaps it’s me. It just seems like we’ve been trundling along doing the same things and today – in Europe and North America at least – the world looks more or less the same today as it did 2 years ago.
But I detect a change. There are a few players emerging that are, I think, going to genuinely change the landscape. One of them is Zervant.
Zervant are Finnish – that’s a good sign. Lots of sustainable innovation comes out of Finland and the Nordic countries. They specialize in e-invoicing targeting micro businesses like freelancers – in itself, not ground breaking but take a look at the execution of their ideas. Linking simple, jargon free invoicing with time tracking and accounting tools, they aim to make life simple for small businesses that want to spend time delivering to their clients rather than be buried in book keeping.
There’s something very cool and slick about the tools and they clearly understand their target market but it’s not just strong first impressions that set them apart. They just signed a deal with ING in Belgium to white label their products and just this week the announced €4 million in funding, led by Northzone and Conor Venture Partners.
According to the press release the investment will be used to “further boost the international expansion of Zervant’s invoicing services, designed for freelancers and small businesses. The additional funding will also see Zervant add new features to their product, such as invoice finance, to help entrepreneurs get paid even quicker.”
Mattias Hansson, Zervant co-founder and CEO explained “The investment will help us expand significantly and strengthen our position as the leading invoicing service for small businesses in Europe. We will accelerate growth in our current markets as well as expand into new countries. In the next 5 years, there is going to be a tremendous shift towards electronic invoicing and more accessible financial products for micro enterprises. We want to lead the way in this segment.”
Zervant claims that their solution is used by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs all over Europe. Its core markets are Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and the UK and they reckon that their revenue is set to grow significantly this year.
I hope I’m right – my startup instincts are usually reliable in which case we’ll hear a lot more about Zervant in the coming months.
Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin