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French accounting startup Pennylane raises €40M

Illustration of a unicorn horn sticking out of a pile of cash.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Pennylane, a French startup making accounting software for SMEs, joined the unicorn club after raising €40 million in Series C funding at a €1 billion valuation.

Why it matters: Late-stage fintech deals have slowed dramatically, making new unicorn sightings rare.

How it works: Pennylane — the startup, not the street in Liverpool — provides a SaaS platform used by SMEs to handle their bookkeeping directly and by accounting firms to simplify their work for clients.

  • It centralizes data — invoices, tax returns, financial statements, etc. — into a single platform and enables real-time reporting of a company's finances.

By the numbers: The financing, which nearly doubles Pennylane's last valuation, comes from existing backers DST Global and Sequoia Capital.

  • Pennylane says its user base has grown fortyfold over the last two years, and its software is now used by more than 2,000 accounting firms and over 120,000 SMEs in France.
  • Founded in 2020, the company has kept a steady fundraising cadence — raising €30 million in funding last spring, following a fundraise in 2020, two rounds in 2021, and another in 2022.

State of play: That makes Pennylane a bit of an outlier among fintech startups.

  • According to F-Prime Capital's 2024 State of Fintech report, just 31% of fintech companies that raised Series A funding in 2021 have garnered enough investor interest to raise a Series B.
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