Sequoia Capital is betting the subsequent European tech large will emerge in Switzerland.
The Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency instructed CNBC that it led an $80 million funding round for Yokoy, a platform that helps massive firms handle their bills, invoicing and bank card processing. Earlier traders Left Lane and Balderton Capital additionally took half within the round.
The deal values the Zurich-based firm at greater than $500 million, an individual accustomed to the matter instructed CNBC. The individual most popular to stay nameless discussing commercially delicate data.
Based in 2019, Yokoy sells its software program to primarily massive companies, together with the postal service DPD and practice producer Stadler. It is competing with giants on this planet of expense administration like SAP and Coupa Software program.
“Most of our customers tend not to have an enterprise-level spend management solution,” Philippe Sahli, Yokoy’s CEO and co-founder, instructed CNBC, including its goal purchasers sometimes depend on “siloed” IT programs which might be remoted from different components of the enterprise.
Yokoy will use the contemporary money to pursue growth in Europe — it lately opened up an workplace within the Netherlands — and rent extra employees. With the assistance of Sequoia, the corporate goals to ultimately enter the U.S. “I think it makes total sense,” Sahli stated.
Matt Miller, Sequoia’s companion in London, stated what attracted the agency to Yokoy was its use of synthetic intelligence to automate spend administration processes.
“AI and automation have a meaningful role to play in refining this piece of the enterprise experience and can save companies a lot of money,” Miller instructed CNBC.
Sequoia, an early investor in firms starting from Apple to Swedish fintech large Klarna, has been increasing its attain in Europe these days. The corporate opened an workplace in London final 12 months and has employed quite a lot of companions there to scout out new offers within the area.
Switzerland has so much to supply in the case of digital innovation, in line with Miller. Google has a large engineering and development presence in Zurich, for instance.
“We’ve found Switzerland to be an incredible place filled with incredible talent,” Miller stated. “Compared to five or six years ago, there’s a lot more entrepreneurial zeal developing.”
Nonetheless, Switzerland has an extended strategy to go. It is presently residence to solely 5 “unicorn” start-ups with a valuation of $1 billion or extra, lagging behind neighboring France and Germany. Yokoy is Sequoia’s second Swiss start-up wager so far; the agency beforehand invested in Ledgy, a Zurich-based fairness administration platform.