With the spotlight on B2B fintechs’ rising popularity and success, innovators and investors alike need to consider carefully exactly what B2B means. A correct view of what “B2B fintech” means can make or break a startup’s trajectory, and the investment it can attract.
While “B2B” translates as business to business, the term is a broad one that doesn’t quite get to the heart of who exactly a B2B fintech targets. A B2B fintech has a desired consumer as an end-user within the business. It is also a technology designed for other financial service providers. Specifically speaking, B2B fintechs most often target a company’s CFO. This is why Wouter Born, Founder and General Partner at venture capital firm Born Capital defines B2B fintechs with his own personal, and probably more accurate, term “CFOTech.” This new classification of B2B fintech addresses the function of most fintechs in this space, which is to offer technological solutions to the problems most often relating to a company’s CFO.
Those startups that can create clarity in providing much needed digital and tech-based solutions designed specifically for CFOs will be the ones that achieve success. After all, a financial product aimed at the business is one that the CFO needs to be convinced of most of all. This acknowledges that the breadth of a CFO’s role is more nuanced than many preconceived notions that surround just finance, payroll, and bookkeeping. A CFO is also a strategic partner within an enterprise who has a key voice in bringing in disruptive technologies that can truly innovate businesses. They are someone whose view is attributable to a company’s financial health and growth.
Today, stakeholders are intuitively recognizing the increased significance of a CFO’s role beyond merely crunching numbers. Their success requires the support of useful and powerful fintechs that can provide tools that support their work whether it is in measuring data, providing efficient payroll solutions, generating valuable insights, or streamlining cumbersome processes - all to increase profitability and better measure performance. Innovative technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence (AI) have huge roles to play in supporting a CFO in their objectives.
With CFOs being recognized as valuable business partners tied to the financial growth of corporations, a B2B fintech needs to directly target these roles in order to gain stakeholder interest. With innovators and venture capitalists shifting their attention to B2B fintechs, the distinction becomes all-important in recognizing the importance of the CFO for any organization.