Berlin-headquartered fintech Modifi has raised US$24mn in a fresh funding round, which it says will support “major upgrades” to its digital trade finance platform.

The series B funding round was led by Heliad Equity Partners, a new Modifi investor, with co-investment from Intesa Sanpaolo’s venture capital investment vehicle Neva Sgr. Other participants include existing investors Global Founders Capital, Maersk Growth and Picus Capital.

Modifi says the injection of capital will allow it to offer a “global trade management hub”, with its SME customer base able to manage all trade-related activities on a single platform.

“This includes finding new trade partners and managing foreign exchange risk, among other things,” the company says in a statement issued this week.

Co-founder and chief executive Nelson Holzner says Modifi will continue to address the challenges faced by SMEs that are looking to export goods internationally, including difficulties finding business partners, accessing finance and making cross-border payments.

“Smaller businesses lack the tools and know-how to trade with the ease and comfort enjoyed by their larger counterparts,” Holzner says. “The solutions available out there are fragmented and don’t approach the problem holistically.”

He adds the company is addressing those issues by “developing our platform into a comprehensive trade management hub that will empower SMEs to take control of their global trade activities”.

Falk Schaefers, chief executive of Heliad Equity Partners, adds: “Small businesses form the backbone of local economies, and it’s critical that we help them grow and flourish.”

Modifi now has offices in nine locations, including New York, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Dubai, as well as its Berlin headquarters. It provides trade finance to SMEs across Europe, Asia and North America, which together account for around 80% of global trade.

The injection of capital brings Modifi’s valuation to more than US$120mn. It follows a US$60mn investment from Silicon Valley Bank in March, which was used to support its expansion into the US and Netherlands markets.

In the US, SMEs account for 98% of exporting businesses yet contribute only a third of total export values. Many were “left stranded” during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company says.

The Netherlands was targeted despite already being a leading market for trade finance because Dutch SMEs lag behind other European counterparts in terms of access to credit.

Modifi has also since launched in Bangladesh.

The company was able to expand its client base through the acquisition of PrimaDollar’s export finance book in February this year. PrimaDollar took the decision to sell in order to focus on its supply chain trade finance business.