- Tera Ventures alongside two more VCs and six angels invests EUR 2.5M in Montonio
- Montonio serves as a one stop shop for seamless checkout and aggregator of BNPL options
- Montonio will now launch in Poland and develop new value added features
Estonian fintech Montonio announced the conclusion of its Seed round of investment this August. Well-known Estonian VC Tera Ventures led the round this time, with participation from Polish-American ffVC, Slovak 365.fintech, and an entire constellation of angel investors. The startup raised an impressive EUR 2.5M.
What Montonio Does
Montonio aims to become a one stop shop for eCommerce businesses that want to boost their sales by facilitating the check-out process for both themselves and shoppers. Instead of having to integrate every payment separately, an eCommerce can employ Montonio to have instant access to several payment methods.
Alongside payment methods, Montonio lists a number of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options, which is particularly advantageous for shoppers. When an eCommerce manages its payments itself, it will typically have only one BNPL option, and the shopper cannot choose and make use of any BNPL provider’s competitive advantages. Because of this, BNPL providers don’t really compete among each other and, as such, their offers often don’t differ from one another a lot.
How Montonio Came to Be
The startup’s co-founder Markus Lember used to work on a checkout solution at Bigbank, but while communicating with merchants he realized that the solution he was working on didn’t address the real issues. So, he put together a team of co-founders with banking and fintech background, including Rasmus Õisma, Kristofer Turmen, and Karel Nappus, and started Montonio in 2018. ‘The ecosystem was dominated by high fees and banks dictating what’s going on. Montonio saw this opening, and decided to disrupt the status quo,’ Montonio’s CEO Mr Lember tells ITKeyMedia.
‘Montonio helps merchants accept payments online using the newest technologies. Alongside payments, Montonio provides checkout financing offers, multiple offers with one application,’ Mr Lember explains. On top of that, Montonio’s payment initiation is the cheapest in the market.
In addition, Montonio also has its own open banking solution. It is connected directly to Bank APIs as a payment institution, providing seamless integration for merchants and facilitates them accepting payments from the banks. ‘Financing is along the same lines, as we integrate the financiers onto our merchants’ platforms so their clients can benefit even more,’ Mr Lember adds.
How Investors See Montonio
Tomas Vysny of 365.fintech points out three main winning features of Montonio that convinced his company to invest in the startup:
- Montonio facilitates fully fledged payment acceptance for merchants, both through traditional card payments and open banking, which has a significant competitive advantage in terms of cost-efficiency;
- It acts as a credit facilitator, a sort of a marketplace between merchants and credit providers, thus facilitating appropriate financing options, particularly for bigger cart;
- Their payments and financing facilitation open up a world of opportunities to make life easier for all ecommerce players. A lot of additional features are possible – from improving efficiency of the checkout to cross-selling innovative financial services such as insurance or revenue-based merchant financing.
Mr Vysny additionally points out the team’s competence for the job. ‘The clarity of the team’s vision, their ambition as well as the quality of their execution is top-notch, and we are excited to support them moving forward in their journey,’ he says.
Given such obvious advantages, it is no wonder that investors line up to get involved with Montonio. According to Mr Lember, this round of investment was almost 3x oversubscribed for the startup. In fact, Mikko Silventola, one of this round’s six angel investors (and a partner at Superangel), admits that he wanted to secure his direct allocation quickly, before any new investors come along.
What’s Next for Montonio
As of now, Montonio works with over 1,300 ecommerces in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The startup will use the current investment to expand into an even bigger market – Poland. In addition, Mr Lember announces new value added features for Montonio’s clients.
Montionio’s agile approach to eCommerce merchants’ needs has already cemented the company’s positions in their homeland Baltics. With Montonio’s expansion made possible by the new investment, even more merchants and shoppers will get the opportunity to enjoy seamless checkout, multiple BNPL options, and even more features that Montonio announces.
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!