HomeFundingBerlin-based topi scores €44.8 million to unlock seamless subscription-based transactions for retailers...

Berlin-based topi scores €44.8 million to unlock seamless subscription-based transactions for retailers and manufacturers

Berlin-based fintech topi is empowering retailers and manufacturers to access subscription-based transactions and helping to fuel the shift to a circular economy. The startup has just secured €44.8 million and announced a strategic partnership with GRAVIS, a leading electronic retailer in Germany. 

Shifting to a circular economy is one of the cornerstones of creating a more sustainable and equitable society. Not only does a circular economy rely on more conscious decisions from consumers, but it also needs businesses to rethink how they go about transactions and processes. At the same time, companies across Europe are facing uncertain and challenging economic times, and looking for ways to enhance their financial footing as well as operational efficiency. 

It’s a big day for Berlin-based topi which has built infrastructure to address exactly these challenges. The startup has just announced a new capital investment of about €44.8 million alongside a new partnership with a leading electronics retailer – GRAVIS. 

New funding, new partnerships

The Series A investment was led by Index Ventures and CREANDUM, with participation from Silicon Valley-based TriplePoint Capital. 

It brings topi’s total raised to about €50 million from a range of investors, including prominent angels, such as founders and early employees of Adyen, Stripe, N26, HelloFresh, Cloudflare, Personio, and others.

GRAVIS is now a strategic partner for the firm as topi aims to become the standard choice for B2B.

Seamless subscription-based transactions

It’s estimated that trillions of dollars are spent each year on capital expenditures across the world, and it’s not hard to see how and why.  Looking at electronics alone, most businesses have to get computers, desktop screens, smartphones, printers, coffee machines, and often specialised machines depending on the industry. While it might seem simple, it’s far from it. 

Ownership of these physical assets creates many constraints for businesses from treasury management to operational complexity. So, increasingly businesses are looking at new options, moving from ownership to access, shifting from making expensive investments to monthly operating expenses. 

Founded in 2021 by Charlotte Pallua and Estelle Merle, topi is making this simple and more efficient. It enables businesses to avoid hardware obsolescence, stop wasting time on managing outdated devices, improve operational flexibility, and ease cash flow. 

Offering products as a hardware subscription is complicated, presenting numerous challenges for the retailer or manufacturer, from risk and fraud management to refinancing, monthly billing, management of outdated devices, providing insurance and other services. Topi’s end-to-end transaction platform circumvents this. It unlocks hardware subscription services for business merchants, expanding their total addressable market, and enhancing customer experience and loyalty.

With the subscription option embedded in the purchase flow, topi is building the rails for B2B merchants to offer Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS). In the back end, topi’s fraud and risk engine vets eligible buyers automatically and in real-time. Meanwhile, integrations between trade-in partners, financial partners, insurance providers and merchants, enable live and automated check-out for e-commerce, tele-sales and in-store.

Estelle Merle & Charlotte Pallua, co-founders of topi, explained: “The as-a-service models that have long been established for software will also become the standard for hardware. Our subscription platform will ensure businesses’ liquidity is protected, while employees never have to work with outdated equipment again. We strongly believe that every reseller and manufacturer will need to offer their products through a subscription model in order to stay competitive.” 

Shifting to a circular economy

It’s reported that each year about 40 million metric tons of electronic waste alone end up in landfills – about 7kg per person. In our increasingly urgent fight against waste, a crucial component in the race to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, it’s clear that a shift in habits is needed. 

Equipment manufacturers have to consider not only what happens the moment a product is sold, but also how they can extend its lifecycle to promote re-use or properly recycle old devices. As the world moves to a more circular economy, subscription-based services such as topi’s will help to reduce hardware waste, by either giving used devices a second life or properly recycling old devices.

Only launched last year, topi has already grown to a team of 33 people across 13 countries and is trusted by companies like Revolut, PayPal, GoCardless, Checkout.com, N26, McKinsey, BCG and Meta.

Jan Sperlich, Managing Director of GRAVIS, commented: “This is a total game changer for us. We have been looking for a partner like topi for a long time. We are very excited that our business customers can now easily subscribe to their IT equipment in real-time at the point of transaction, without tedious processes and bureaucratic paperwork. In our pilot phase, already around half of our customers who have rented hardware through topi, have already come back for additional products. We look forward to continuing to work with topi and further expand our offer through their platform.”

This new investment will help scale up operations and meet growing demand.  

Julia Andre, Partner at Index Ventures, added: “Businesses want to focus on delivering great outcomes, rather than get bogged down in the complexity of buying equipment outright. topi removes the historical layers of providers and costs involved in leasing equipment, and offers a hardware subscription solution for merchants that provides unparalleled terms to their customers. We have been impressed by the speed of execution by the topi team and believe they are uniquely positioned to enable this shift at scale.”

Simon Schmincke, General Partner at Creandum, said: “We believe that topi will be one of the driving forces in reshaping the world of B2B payments. The idea is innovative, fills a void that has existed for far too long, and provides benefits for all sides. In the end, it will all be about execution. And to that end, topi has put together an incredible team that we rarely see in companies at this stage.” 

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.
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