topi raises $45 million to establish hardware-as-a-service

Photo: With their funding, they are well equip­ped for the steps ahead, say foun­ders Estelle Merle (l.) and Char­lotte Pallua (r.) — Copy­right: topi
7. Septem­ber 2022

Berlin — Berlin-based fintech topi, foun­ded in 2021, has raised $45 million, inclu­ding $15 million in equity. The round is again led by Crean­dum and Index Ventures with parti­ci­pa­tion from Sili­con Valley-based Triple­Point Capi­tal. This means that the start-up has raised almost 50 million US dollars in less than a year. topi’s tech­ni­cal infra­struc­ture enables resel­lers and manu­fac­tu­r­ers to offer hard­ware subscrip­ti­ons to busi­ness custo­mers. This will revo­lu­tio­nize the way compa­nies procure hard­ware and drive the tran­si­tion to a circu­lar economy.

topi enables retail­ers and manu­fac­tu­r­ers to offer their products as subscriptions

Globally, more than $3,700 billion* in capi­tal expen­dit­ures are made annu­ally. In the field of elec­tro­nic equip­ment alone, a wide variety of opera­ting resour­ces have to be procu­red, ranging from compu­ters, moni­tors, smart­phones or prin­ters to indus­­try-speci­­fic special machi­nery. Owner­ship of these physi­cal assets, howe­ver, invol­ves both finan­cial and opera­tio­nal costs for compa­nies. topi enables compa­nies to rent hard­ware, turning expen­sive invest­ments into low monthly opera­ting costs. In addi­tion, it helps compa­nies avoid obso­lete hard­ware, save time mana­ging exis­ting devices, improve opera­tio­nal flexi­bi­lity and opti­mize cash flow.

For manu­fac­tu­r­ers and retail­ers, hard­ware subscrip­ti­ons are compli­ca­ted and come with a variety of chal­lenges, such as: Risk and fraud manage­ment, refi­nan­cing, the inclu­sion of insu­rance offe­rings and the asso­cia­ted payment flows. With the subscrip­tion option embedded in the purcha­sing process, B2B resel­lers will be able to offer hard­­ware-as-a-service in the online store, tele­sa­les and in stores. topis fraud and risk system checks custo­mers’ credit­wort­hi­ness in real time. Retail­ers and manu­fac­tu­r­ers are thus expan­ding their custo­mer base and impro­ving both the custo­mer expe­ri­ence and the loyalty of their customers.

“We are making the as-a-service models that have long been estab­lished for soft­ware the stan­dard for hard­ware as well,” explain Estelle Merle and Char­lotte Pallua, the foun­ders of topi. “Our subscrip­tion plat­form ensu­res that busi­ness custo­mers can protect their cash while their employees never have to work with outda­ted equip­ment again. We firmly believe that in the future, every retailer and manu­fac­tu­rer will also need to offer their products as a subscrip­tion model in order to remain competitive.”

Stra­te­gic part­ner­ship with GRAVIS

topi also announ­ces a stra­te­gic part­ner­ship with GRAVIS. As one of the leading elec­tro­nics retail­ers in Germany, the company is the first to offer a subscrip­tion model with the fintech’s platform.

“We’ve been looking for a part­ner like topi for a long time,” says Jan Sper­lich, CEO of GRAVIS. “We are thril­led that our busi­ness custo­mers can now easily rent their IT equip­ment in real time and without complex proces­ses and bureau­cra­tic paper­work. Alre­ady during the pilot phase, almost half of our busi­ness custo­mers who rented hard­ware with topi have rented products again. We look forward to further colla­bo­ra­tion and expan­ding our offe­ring using topi’s platform.”

Jan Hammer and Julia Andre, part­ners at Index Ventures, join topi’s Board of Direc­tors. Says Andre, “Compa­nies want to focus on getting good results and not get bogged down by the comple­xity of equip­ment procu­re­ment. topi elimi­na­tes the confu­sion of vendors and costs that make opera­ting equip­ment leasing so diffi­cult, and offers a hard­ware subscrip­tion solu­tion for dealers that opens up unpre­ce­den­ted terms to their busi­ness custo­mers. We are impres­sed with the speed of imple­men­ta­tion at topi and believe they are in the opti­mal posi­tion to make this change happen at scale.”

Around 50 million tons of e‑waste end up in land­fills world­wide every year**, which is over 7 kg per person. Manu­fac­tu­r­ers need to think more long term and not just focus on the purchase, but consider how to give the product a second life or how to recy­cle them properly. At a time when the world is turning more and more to the circu­lar economy, topi will play a key role in redu­cing hard­ware waste.

“We believe topi will be one of the driving forces in resha­ping B2B payments,” said Simon Schmin­cke, gene­ral part­ner at Crean­dum, who also joins the board of direc­tors. “The idea is inno­va­tive, fills a gap that has exis­ted for far too long, and bene­fits ever­yone. In the end, it will be about imple­men­ta­tion. And in terms of that, topi has put toge­ther an incre­di­ble team, the likes of which we’ve rarely seen in a company at this stage.”

topi was foun­ded by Char­lotte Pallua and Estelle Merle, who met at Harvard Busi­ness School and have held leader­ship posi­ti­ons at Apple and Gold­man Sachs. Since its foun­ding last year, topi has grown into a company with 35 employees from 13 count­ries. The team comes from compa­nies such as Revo­lut, PayPal, GoCard­less,, N26, McKin­sey, BCG and Meta. Half of the leader­ship team and 60% of the tech team are female. topi is head­quar­te­red in Berlin, but is being built as a remote-first company to secure talent across Europe. Two thirds of the team work from other Euro­pean countries.

Notes: * S&P Global Market Intel­li­gence, global corpo­rate capi­tal expen­dit­ure, ** Statista, Global e‑waste statis­tics and facts.

About topi
topi is a fintech company whose tech­ni­cal infra­struc­ture enables merchants and manu­fac­tu­r­ers to offer hard­ware subscrip­ti­ons to their busi­ness custo­mers. The Hard­­ware-as-a-Service plat­form allows dealers to conve­ni­ently offer their products as rentals to their busi­ness custo­mers online, in tele­sa­les or in the store. The Berlin-based company was foun­ded in 2021 by Char­lotte Pallua and Estelle Merle. topi is funded by Index Ventures, Crean­dum and Sili­con Valley-based Triple­Point Capi­tal, as well as foun­ders and early employees from Adyen, Stripe, N26, Senn­der, Wefox, HelloFresh, Cloud­flare, Perso­nio, Foodora and more

About Crean­dum
Crean­dum, foun­ded in 2003, is a leading pan-Euro­­pean venture capi­tal fund. The fund’s port­fo­lio includes more than 120 compa­nies across a wide range of indus­tries, inclu­ding some of Europe’s most successful tech compa­nies, e.g. Spotify, Klarna, Depop, Kry, Trade Repu­blic, Pleo and Vivino. Today, one in six of these compa­nies is a Unicorn.

Creandum’s consul­ting teams are based in Stock­holm, London, Berlin and San Fran­cisco. They have exten­sive opera­tio­nal exper­tise with which they support port­fo­lio compa­nies of the fund from the seed phase to exit and with the aim of making them global market leaders in their cate­gory. For more infor­ma­tion, visit

About Index Ventures
Index Ventures invests in outstan­ding foun­ders who are not only ideally posi­tio­ned through rele­vant expe­ri­ence and/or exper­tise, but also intrin­si­cally moti­va­ted to realize their ideas. Index helps entre­pre­neurs build global busi­nesses from their visio­nary ideas and use them to make a posi­tive impact on the world.

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