The accounting software start-up will use the funds to accelerate development of its modules and invest massively in AI.
French start-up Pennylane has become Europe’s latest tech unicorn following a fundraise of €40m from Sequoia Capital and DST Global.
The fintech has been steadily raising funds on an annual basis since it was founded, starting with €4m in 2020, followed by a combined total of €30m in 2021, €50m in 2022 and €30m in 2023.
Its latest round of funding brings the company’s valuation to €1bn, making it the first French unicorn of 2024.
Pennylane is an accounting software-as-a-service company that aggregates financial information for other companies using APIs to improve workflows between enterprises and accountants.
In the last two years, the company has increased its platform users by 40-fold with more than 2,000 accounting firms bringing their clients on board.
The fresh funding will be used to accelerate Pennylane’s various modules and allow it to invest heavily in AI for accountants. This will include the set-up of a chatbot specific to the accounting field.
Arthur Waller, CEO and co-founder of Pennylane, said the fundraise comes at a time when the company is experiencing exceptional growth. “We were not looking for funding, but we wanted to seize the opportunity again to go even faster,” he said.
“One year after the last round of funding, this fundraising will allow us to further support accounting firms in their transition to automation and the adoption of new technologies. This includes reorienting their missions towards consulting, updating the skills of their employees and attracting young talents. We also plan to expand the capabilities of our platform by adopting an external growth strategy over the next five years.”
Luciana Lixandru, a partner at Sequoia, said the VC firm continues to be impressed by the company’s technical team. “Pennylane solves an important problem for over 120,000 SMEs and over 2,000 accounting firms, by giving businesses their financial information in real time and their trusted third party, their accountants, a smarter, more productive way of working.”