Greensill Receives $655 Million Follow-On Investment From SoftBank Vision Fund

By Annie Baker ● Oct 31, 2019
  • Greensill, a leading non-bank provider of working capital finance for businesses, announced that the SoftBank Vision Fund invested an additional $655 million into the company

Greensill — a leading non-bank provider of working capital finance for companies  — announced that the SoftBank Vision Fund invested an additional $655 million into the company. With this funding, Greensill will accelerate its global expansion and step up the development of new products that support its mission of democratizing capital.

Over the last 14 months, Greensill raised over $1.7 billion from leading institutional investors General Atlantic and SoftBank Vision Fund. In fact, the SoftBank Vision Fund previously made an $800 million investment in Greensill back in May 2019.

The proceeds will primarily be used for international expansion plans and to finance strategic acquisitions of complementary businesses into the Greensill family along with continuing its track record of disrupting traditional financing.

Another announcement from Greensill is the acquisition of FreeUp, a London-based company founded by tech entrepreneurs Reuben Saxon, Marta Krupinska and David Townsend. FreeUp is also developing technology to enable workers to receive early payment for earned — but unpaid — wages at zero cost to the employee.

Greensill founder and CEO Lex Greensill pointed out that while supply chain finance programs already allow a company’s suppliers to obtain early payment, FreeUp’s technology would enable Greensill to extend the service to a company’s most important suppliers: its workers.

“Essentially, all workers are suppliers – supplying their employers with their time and skills,” said Greensill. “There is effectively no difference between our firm making an early invoice payment and making an early salary payment.

By acquiring FreeUp, it is expected that a pilot of the new product will begin immediately with a full launch to come in the next few months.

“Marta, David and I started FreeUp to help workers everywhere. Now, by joining the Greensill family, we have the opportunity to make the way people are paid simpler, fairer and more useful – for everyone. FreeUp and Greensill share an important ambition: to unlock capital so the world can put it to work. That’s what we’re working on together,” explained.

In conjunction with the funding, SoftBank Investment Advisers Vice President Hayley Chan is joining the board along with existing SBIA representatives Colin Fan and Tom Cheung.

“We believe Greensill is transforming global access to working capital through its innovative business model. By unlocking billions of dollars in supply chains around the world, we believe Greensill continues to play a pioneering role in working capital finance,” commented Fan.

Greensill has become one of the largest non-bank bond issuers in Europe as it is unlocking capital to provide more than $150 billion of financing to more than 8 million suppliers and customers across more than 165 countries during 2019.

“With the IP we are acquiring from FreeUp along with our own technology and expertise, our global network of clients and the financial support of SoftBank Investment Advisers, manager of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we see the potential to revolutionize the way workers are paid around the world. Why shouldn’t they get paid as soon as they earn a salary, rather than waiting to be paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Especially when this won’t cost the employee anything,” added Greensill. “This is just another example of how our partnership with SoftBank Investment Advisers and General Atlantic is proving incredibly valuable to Greensill, its clients, their suppliers – and now their employees.”