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Home Business & Finance Germany’s Xentral nabs $20M led by Sequoia to help online-facing SMBs run...

Germany’s Xentral nabs $20M led by Sequoia to help online-facing SMBs run back offices better – TechCrunch

Document Analysis NLP IA

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redaction

Subjectivity0.46616114765465
probably it's an affirmation
Affirmation0.38207547169811

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Summary (IA Generated)

Small enterprises remain one of the most underserved segments of the business market, but the growth of cloud-based services — easier to buy, easier to provision — has helped that change in recent years.

Today, one of the more promising startups out of Europe building software to help SMEs run online businesses is announcing some funding to better tap into both the opportunity to build these services, and to meet a growing demand from the SME segment.

Xentral, a German startup that develops enterprise resource planning software covering a variety of back-office functions for the average online small business, has picked up a Series A of $20 million.

But Benedikt Sauter, the co-founder and CEO of Xentral, said the ambition is to expand into the rest of Europe, and eventually other geographies, and to fold in more services to its ERP platform, such as a more powerful API to allow customers to integrate more services — for example in cases where a business might be selling on their own site, but also Amazon, eBay, social platforms and more — to bring their businesses to a wider market.

Mainly, he said, the startup wants “to build a better ecosystem to help our customers run their own businesses better.

Around 2013, as the business was starting to pick up steam, they decided that they really needed better tools to manage everything at the backend so that they would have more time to build their actual products.

But Bene Sauter quickly discovered a problem in the process: smaller businesses may have Shopify and its various competitors to help manage e-commerce at the front end, but when it came to the many parts of the process at the backend, there really wasn’t a single, easy solution (remember this was eight years ago, at a time before the Shopifys of the world were yet to expand into these kinds of tools).

The Sauters used those tools for for years, until without much outbound effort, they started to get a some inbound interest from other online businesses to use the software, too.

That led to the Sauters balancing both their own hardware business and selling the software on the side, until around 2017/2018 when they decided to wind down the hardware operation and focus on the software full-time.

The focus with Xentral is to have a platform that is easy to implement and use, regardless of what kind of SME you might be as long as you are selling online.

The challenge with Xentral in that regard will be to see how and if they can bring more businesses to the table and tap into the kinds of tools that it provides, at the same time that a number of other players also eye up the same market.

(Others in the same general category of building ERP for small businesses include online payments provider Sage, Netsuite and Acumatica.

“I see Xentral becoming the de facto platform for any SMEs to run their businesses online,” she said in an interview.


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