Inside Mercury’s competitive push into software and Ramp’s potential M&A targets | TechCrunch

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at Mercury’s latest expansions, wallet-as-a-service startup Ansa’s raise and more!

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The big story

Digital banking startup Mercury is layering software onto its bank accounts, giving its business customers the ability to pay bills, invoice customers and reimburse employees, the company has told TechCrunch exclusively. The additional features put the company in even more direct competition with the likes of Brex and Ramp, two rival fintechs that have for years been fighting for market share in an increasingly crowded space. Mercury says that it has over 200,000 customers sending $4 billion in outgoing payments every month via its platform and that this move is a natural one for the seven-year-old company.

Analysis of the week

CB Insights took it upon itself to identify 85 potential acquisition targets for Ramp “given its heightened interest in M&A.” Here are a few examples: Greycroft-backed Streamlined, which does accounts receivable (AR) automation and whose $4 million raise TechCrunch covered here; Oddr, which is focused on invoice-to-cash management for the legal sector; Pactum, which does AI vendor negotiation; and OpStart, a startup valued at $10 million in 2022 that offers “financial operations for startups.” So far Ramp has acquired Cohere, Buyer and Venue.

Dollars and cents

We first covered Ansa in 2023 when they came out of stealth announcing a $5.4 million raise. Last week, the buzzy fintech shared with TC exclusively that it had raised another $14 million to grow its “wallet-as-a-service” business. We were impressed with the fact that 95.6% of the investors in its Series A round were female and by the company’s traction. Read more here.

Flipping houses is not for the faint of heart, no matter how fun or easy HGTV might make it seem. One startup wants to make the process less complicated by offering a different way to borrow money to fund such a purchase. Backflip offers a service to real estate investors for securing short-term loans. Beyond helping users secure financing, Backflip’s tech also helps investors source, track, comp and evaluate potential investments. Think of it as a cross between Zillow and Shopify. And it just raised $15 million.

What else we’re writing

Hans Tung, a managing partner at Notable Capital, formerly GGV Capital, has a lot of thoughts on the state of venture capital today. We recently brought him on TechCrunch’s Equity podcast to discuss valuations, why founders need to play the long game and the reason some VC firms are struggling more than others. We also delved deep into the reasons he’s still bullish on fintech, and which sectors in the fintech space have him especially excited. Check out interview excerpts and the actual podcast here.

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