Sequoia leads $80 million funding spherical for Swiss start-up Yokoy

Sequoia Capital is betting the subsequent European tech large will emerge in Switzerland.

The Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency advised CNBC that it led an $80 million funding spherical for Yokoy, a platform that helps massive corporations handle their bills, invoicing and bank card processing. Earlier traders Left Lane and Balderton Capital additionally took half within the spherical.

The deal values the Zurich-based firm at greater than $500 million, an individual conversant in the matter advised CNBC. The individual most well-liked to stay nameless discussing commercially delicate info.

Based in 2019, Yokoy sells its software program to primarily massive companies, together with the postal service DPD and prepare producer Stadler. It is competing with giants on this planet of expense administration like SAP and Coupa Software program.

“Most of our prospects have a tendency to not have an enterprise-level spend administration answer,” Philippe Sahli, Yokoy’s CEO and co-founder, advised CNBC, including its goal purchasers usually depend on “siloed” IT techniques which are remoted from different components of the enterprise.

Yokoy will use the recent 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 finally enter the U.S. “I feel it makes complete sense,” Sahli stated.

Matt Miller, Sequoia’s accomplice 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 significant position to play in refining this piece of the enterprise expertise and may save corporations some huge cash,” Miller advised CNBC.

Sequoia, an early investor in corporations starting from Apple to Swedish fintech large Klarna, has been increasing its attain in Europe currently. The corporate opened an workplace in London final yr and has employed a lot of companions there to scout out new offers within the area.

Switzerland has lots to supply in the case of digital innovation, in response to Miller. Google has a big engineering and growth presence in Zurich, for instance.

“We have discovered Switzerland to be an unbelievable place crammed with unbelievable expertise,” Miller stated. “In comparison with 5 – 6 years in the past, there’s much more entrepreneurial zeal creating.”

Nonetheless, Switzerland has an extended solution 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 guess to this point; the agency beforehand invested in Ledgy, a Zurich-based fairness administration platform.

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