American Express | June 01, 2021
Survey indicates that U.S. spending is on the rise across nine key business-to-business (B2B) categories.
U.S. survey respondents cited that raw or processed materials, such as lumber, metals, and chemicals, are outpacing all other B2B spending categories.
Automation is anticipated to be the fastest-growing area in technology spending, with nearly half of U.S. survey respondents planning to automate or further automate their B2B payments over the next year1.
Flexibility is key for the U.S. businesses surveyed, which are adapting their supply chains due to pandemic challenges.
New York, June 1, 2021 – American Express today launched the Global Business Spend Indicator (GBSI), a new survey of global businesses conducted with the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CEBR)². The survey reveals U.S. businesses are the most bullish and optimistic when it comes to B2B spending among the six countries covered in the survey, with 76% of U.S. businesses expressing optimism about their prospects over the next 12 months. Respondents predicted that B2B spending in the U.S. will be an average of 3.4% higher in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. Applying that projection from the survey respondents to broader U.S. macroeconomic data would equate to an estimated $140 billion in additional B2B spending from U.S. businesses³.
“B2B spending is an important bellwether for the overall health of the economy, and the GBSI study shows U.S. businesses are investing and spending more, whether to adopt to the new ways of operating during the pandemic, or to digitize and streamline their operations,” said Dean Henry, EVP, Global Commercial Services at American Express. “It also reveals that some of the trends that have emerged or accelerated during the pandemic, such as payments automation and new approaches to managing the supply chain, are likely here to stay.”
CEBR estimates that the value of B2B expenditures each year amounts to nearly half (48%) of gross output (the total value of sales or receipts) in the U.S. economy. This means that for each dollar spent in the U.S. economy, approximately 48 cents are B2B transactions.
The GBSI is designed to explore the importance of business spending in both the global and local economies based on a survey of more than 3,600 businesses of all sizes and across industries in the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the U.S. For this report, B2B spend is classified as goods and services that a business purchases from another business to keep their business running. The survey looked at nine B2B spending categories, and three additional categories of taxes, people / workforce, and travel, entertainment and expenses, for a robust look at the dynamics and impact of overall business spending.
Raw or Processed Materials Top B2B Spend Categories
U.S. businesses surveyed reported that they have increased their overall B2B spending across all the core categories since the start of the year. The highest growth rates were in spending on raw or processed materials such as lumber, metals, and chemicals, which rose by an average of 6.2% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, according to survey respondents. This would equate to an estimated $37 billion in additional spend when applied to U.S. macroeconomic data, most likely due to rising prices of raw materials after the onset of the pandemic.
This trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. businesses surveyed anticipating another 6.4% rise in spending in this category from Q2 2021 over the prior quarter.
U.S. Businesses Lead in Payments Automation, with Plans to Continue Investing in the Year Ahead
Within the technology spending category, automation is the fastest anticipated growth area among the U.S. businesses surveyed. While many businesses have already been digitizing their B2B payments over the past few years, the pandemic helped accelerate this trend more broadly.
The GBSI found that, of the six surveyed countries, U.S. businesses have the highest level of automation across most business functions, including with purchasing / procurement, payroll, paying suppliers, supplier analysis, and syncing payments to the existing ledger. In fact, nearly half of U.S. businesses surveyed said they are mostly or fully automating the making (48%) and receiving (51%) of payments from business customers. In addition, there is more opportunity ahead as nearly half (46%) plan to automate or further automate each of these functions over the next 12 months.
With more automation, U.S. businesses may vastly reduce their reliance on manual payment methods – like writing and sending physical checks – which are still prevalent, with 33% of U.S. business spend currently using physical payment methods, according to the businesses surveyed.
On the whole, technology spending by U.S. businesses surveyed rose by an average of 4.1% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, equating to an estimated $25 billion in additional spend when applied to U.S. macroeconomic data, likely driven by the rapid digitization of businesses such as e-commerce capabilities or website enhancements. Nearly a quarter (22%) of U.S. businesses surveyed list increasing their online presence among their top three goals and 39% expect to expand their use of virtual cards over the next 12 months.
U.S. Businesses Prioritize Streamlined and Flexible Supply Chain Relationships
For many businesses, the experiences during the pandemic highlighted ways to streamline and seek more flexible ways to manage their supply chains and operating practices.
Over the last 12 months, 23% of U.S. businesses surveyed took steps to simplify their network of suppliers, 23% reduced or avoided long-term commitments to purchase from specific suppliers, and 22% chose suppliers with more flexible payment terms.
Over the next 12 months, U.S. businesses in the survey cite increasing profitability (34%), securing new business or bringing on new customers (32%), and remaining competitive (31%) as being among their three most important goals.
Quint | June 01, 2021
Global fintech Quint Group is set to join Bruntwood SciTech’s rapidly growing tech community at Glasshouse, Alderley Park.
Quint owns and operates a number of fintech businesses which are focused on improving access to credit. The business, which, as well as in the UK, has operations in San Diego, Warsaw, Foshan, Sydney and Cape Town and clients that include major financial services providers like Goldman Sachs, Shawbrook Bank and Admiral, will move its HQ to Glasshouse to support its ongoing growth.
Established in 2009, Quint Group is part of the UK’s fast growing fintech sector, which contributes over £11bn to the economy per year. Greater Manchester, was recently named the largest regional fintech ecosystem by Whitecap consulting, with over 150 firms employing over 8,000 people.
Quint has taken close to 12,000 sq ft of office space at Glasshouse, which is home to businesses specialising in AI, digital health, life sciences, and software development, and digital communications and animation including Lokulus, Regit and Currentbody.
Quint will join Bruntwood SciTech’s community of over 500 science and tech businesses across the UK, including those in other fintech hotspots in Leeds and Birmingham. This includes access to business support and community programmes that help firms to find talent, collaborate and enter new markets.
Alderley Park is also home to many amenities, including a gym, 400 acres of scenic woodland offering walking, running and cycling routes, coffee shops and a newly opened pub and restaurant, The Churchill Tree.
Mike Ransom, Quint Group managing director, said: “For over a decade, and despite a challenging 2020, Quint Group has successfully gone from strength to strength and our old office no longer suited our need for a more flexible and collaborative workspace. After a careful review process, we selected Glasshouse at Alderley Park for our new UK HQ.
“Innovation is what powers our business and so becoming part of an ecosystem of like-minded businesses at Alderley Park will be great for us. And on a more tangible level, it’s a beautiful environment with brilliant amenities that will mean our team is excited about coming into the office.”
Kath Mackay, managing director of Bruntwood SciTech – Alderley Park, said: “Glasshouse has been specifically designed for digital and tech businesses, providing space to collaborate, network and grow. It’s the perfect place for Quint to kick start its ambitious growth plans.
“To see a business such as Quint relocate from Macclesfield to Alderley Park is a real endorsement of the community we’ve created here, with co-location playing a major part in their decision to move. It’s also a sign of the strength of the wider fintech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and its growing contribution to the UK’s global reputation.”
Greg Cox, founder & CEO of Quint Group, added: “Our move to Glasshouse allows us to provide a world class working environment for our fantastic staff in a space that represents where we are and where we are going as a business. I see our move as the start of an exciting new chapter in our growth story.”
Since it was established, Quint has won numerous awards including The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising its growth and international reputation and regularly appears in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies To Work for list.
Hallams Property Consultants advised Bruntwood SciTech on the letting.
Hallams, Colliers and OBI are agents on Glasshouse.
REPAY, BillingTree | May 11, 2021
Repay Holdings Corporation, a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire BillingTree for approximately $503 million. The acquisition will be financed with approximately $275 million in cash from REPAY’s balance sheet and $228 million in newly issued shares of REPAY Class A common stock to be issued to the seller. The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2021.
BillingTree, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, is a leading provider of omni-channel, integrated payments solutions to the Healthcare, Credit Union, Accounts Receivable Management (ARM), and Energy industries. Through its technology-enabled suite of products and services, including a variety of payment channels and reporting capabilities, BillingTree helps organizations get paid faster and more efficiently.
“We are thrilled to announce this acquisition, our largest to date, and look forward to further expanding our position in Healthcare, Credit Unions, and Accounts Receivable Management with the help of BillingTree’s team and strong platform capabilities,” said John Morris, CEO of REPAY. “BillingTree satisfies all of our acquisition investment criteria, including a large addressable market opportunity that is amid a shift away from legacy payment methods and towards the technology-first, industry-specific payment mediums in which BillingTree specializes. Additionally, BillingTree has strong recurring revenue streams, high customer retention, approximately 50 unique ISV integrations, an attractive financial profile, and numerous opportunities for synergy realization. We are looking forward to welcoming BillingTree into the REPAY family and together pursuing many amazing growth opportunities ahead.”
“BillingTree’s unique approach has always been to develop strategic alliances with service, software, and billing providers resulting in full integrations that create seamless, compliant, and innovative payment solutions. We believe that we are an ideal strategic partner for BillingTree, as we also go to market with a highly integrated, omni-channel approach. Together, we can capture more of the massive addressable market in payments and combine our incredible team members and technology to create simplified experiences for merchants across our collective, ever-expanding verticals,” continued Morris.
Credit Suisse served as exclusive financial advisor and Troutman Pepper served as legal advisor to REPAY. Financial Technology Partners (“FT Partners”) served as exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to BillingTree and Parthenon.
BillingTree is a leading provider of integrated payments solutions to customers in the Healthcare, Credit Union, ARM, and Energy verticals. Leveraging more than a decade of market experience, BillingTree is dedicated to growing payments with technology through an integrated omni-channel offering, suite of proprietary products and value-added services, and a company-wide focus on delivering extraordinary customer service.
REPAY provides integrated payment processing solutions to verticals that have specific transaction processing needs. REPAY's proprietary, integrated payment technology platform reduces the complexity of electronic payments for merchants, while enhancing the overall experience for consumers and businesses.
FinLync | May 10, 2021
FinLync, a privately held, global fintech company transforming corporate finance and treasury offices through its world-class products, today announced that it has closed on a $16M equity funding round. Point72 Ventures led the financing and included investments from Nyca Partners, former CFO of Palantir and Founding Partner of Friends & Family Capital Colin Anderson, and Plaid Founder William Hockey.
FinLync brings speed, simplicity and greater transparency and control to finance and treasury professionals globally. Through its world-class products, they provide them the infrastructure to unlock more value from their day-to-day operations. This latest funding will support the company’s continued growth, including investment in its technology and expanding the firm’s global reach and executive leadership team. By leveraging bank APIs and embedding the technology within the client’s ERP, FinLync enables corporate finance and treasury departments to have greater control and visibility over their data than legacy treasury management systems provide, while benefiting from financial institution-grade security. Equipped with FinLync’s applications, treasurers and finance professionals are now able to experience real-time payment processing, machine learning-assisted forecasting and reconciliation, all on a user intuitive platform.
Leading companies, including Citrix, have chosen FinLync’s technology to integrate their bank and ERP data in real time, resulting in richer insights and more actionable data to their corporate treasury functions. FinLync’s global bank partners include J.P. Morgan and Standard Chartered, among other leading banks.
“The corporate treasury function has evolved into an increasingly strategic role. FinLync is accelerating that change with its unique solution for CFOs and treasurers around the world, and think they have an opportunity to transform this area of financial services,” said Tripp Shriner, Partner at Point72 Ventures. “We are confident in the experience and industry knowledge FinLync’s executive team brings to the table and believe in their vision. We believe FinLync is uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on this area of open banking and corporate treasury and we are encouraged by the clients and partners it has secured. We look forward to supporting the business as it continues to expand globally.”
While the wave of digital transformation has modernized many areas of financial services and accelerated the use of APIs, corporate treasuries have been largely left behind, still relying on static, disparate and legacy technology. In response, FinLync has created a modern solution that delivers the critical information treasury departments need to maximize cash and make better, faster decisions. Bringing the ease and sleek design of consumer banking technology to corporate treasury, FinLync provides today’s treasurers with real-time data in a simple, customizable dashboard. With FinLync, users have a single, integrated view into all of the information they need—with a reduced risk of breaches and fraud. This innovation makes the ERP the single source of truth for an entire enterprise.
“FinLync’s innovative model addresses the pain points treasurers have to deal with on a daily basis,” said Hans Morris, Managing Partner at Nyca Partners. “Phillip and Peter have built a strong team with backgrounds in corporate treasury, payments and technology to create and deliver an elegant solution that will save companies money.”
“We are at a critical point of growth for our firm. We’ve secured an extensive list of global bank partners and this investment will help us continue our goal of bringing open banking into corporate treasury,” said Phillip Klein, co-founder and CEO of FinLync. “With the right tools, treasurers and their teams are change leaders within their organizations. These individuals need access to real-time treasury data to manage their complex finance needs. With FinLync, corporate finance departments can become forward-thinkers and optimize cash, make better and faster decisions, all while saving time and resources. We believe that our solution is going to transform the treasury function of every global company and we are excited to have secured this growth investment to support our vision.”
FinLync is a privately held, global fintech company transforming the insights and functionality of corporate finance and treasury offices through its world-class products. FinLync’s ERP native apps and API connectivity empowers treasurers to optimize cash, make better, faster decisions, save time and reduce the resources needed to manage complex finance needs. FinLync’s largest clients include Fortune 500 and Fortune 2000 companies. The firm has employees from 18 different countries and offices in Singapore, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris.
Point72 Ventures is a global venture capital strategy led by a diverse set of domain experts with the capital and mandate to lead rounds through all stages of a company's growth, from idea to IPO. The team invests in founders with bold ideas who use the latest technologies to drive transformational change across industries. Point72 Ventures offers entrepreneurs access to expertise and insights, executive and technical talent, and hands-on support. With offices in the U.S. and Europe, Point72 Ventures is an affiliate of Point72, the global asset manager founded by Steven A. Cohen.