Say hello to Juni, the future of banking for eCommerce
Felix Capital co-leads $21.5m Series A with DST to support Juni’s European expansion plans.
Many of us at Felix have spent time as entrepreneurs or operators, giving us the privileged position of having experienced first-hand the challenges business owners face. Often at the top of that list, financial operations and the associated functions, can be a real pain point for small-to-mid enterprises (“SMEs”).
eCommerce SME’s have it particularly tough due to the multi-channel and digital nature of their operations — tracking payments across Shopify, Stripe, and Paypal (amongst others) while paying expenses from a separate account and reconciling everything with accounting tools, is time consuming and frustrating. We see these recurring issues in many of the eCommerce companies we’ve been lucky to invest in, from Highsnobiety to Lick, Mejuri to Goop (to name a few), financial admin is a common challenge in need of a solution… So, when we came across Juni, we immediately understood the use case and were incredibly excited about the company’s potential.
The Banking Platform for eCommerce
One might simplistically see Juni as a vertically focused business bank, however we see a much bigger picture, one where Juni is a financial companion empowering digital entrepreneurs. Time is our most precious asset and Juni not only puts this back in the hands of operators, it also helps them make better business decisions.
A company survey showed that 60% of eCommerce entrepreneurs experience big problems tracking their funds and almost 70% have big problems with financial administration — Juni is here to solve all of that. The product integrates nicely with everything in an eCommerce stack (bank accounts, payment gateways and accounting software) providing a single pane of glass. Juni also provides multi-currency accounts and free FX payments, with embedded features such a cash back on spend reflecting their innate understanding of the customer base. When we look at the future roadmap, things become even more exciting with automation of administrative tasks, unified financials tailored to eCommerce merchants, and a number of services to empower digitally native companies to grow their business.
The Power of a Brand
From Day 1 our mission at Felix has been to back the Creative Class and operate at the intersection of technology and creativity. This includes not only investing in consumer-facing brands and platforms, but also the enablers that power the digital economy. Logos such as Farfetch, Peloton, Deliveroo and Oatly cause people to think of us as B2C investors, however B2B has always been core to our thesis and we’ve been lucky to back the likes of Mirakl, Travelperk, Forter and more over the past 6 years.
Fintech in particular is a growing focus as we see many of the themes that have driven success in our consumer investments emerging in financial services. Open banking and BaaS have spurred remarkable innovation in fintech in recent years, yet have also led to the commoditisation of products and services. An amazing customer experience has become table stakes, so fintechs must find other sources of differentiation. As a result, the power of a brand and community are more important than ever, and we believe Juni is building the best of both. We look for signs of ‘customer love’ and ‘digital queues’ in all our investments, and a waitlist of over 3,000 SMEs for Juni’s product, coupled with an NPS of 85, is as good as we’ve seen!
We are particularly interested in vertically specialised banking solutions such as Juni, as we believe in the power of focus. We’ve seen that start-ups who innately understand their customer base are able to build better products and connect on a deeper level with their communities. One look at the Juni website and you can see how their understanding of users is driving product development and rapid adoption — in just 12 weeks, 250 businesses are live with a Juni card, and transaction volume has been rising at >500% MoM!
Joining the Juniverse
One of our core missions at Felix is to back visionary founders who want to move the world forward. We are a young and ambitious team and want to see this same passion manifested in all our founders, and the Juni team have this in spades. Juni was created out of Samir and Anders’ collective experience and understanding of the pain points from running an eCommerce business. As serial founders and operators of eCommerce stores themselves, Juni was borne out of their authentic desire for a product that they would actually use. Samir, Anders and Jon are a dynamic and highly complimentary team, each bringing a unique skillset to the company and creating a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.
We have been talking with the team since their seed funding and jumped (both figuratively and literally, onto a plane to Copenhagen) at the chance to partner with them for this round. We are thrilled that the Juni team have chosen us (together with our friends at DST and Cherry Ventures) to join them on their exciting journey, as they continue their growth, product development and expansion plans.