topi raises $45 million to establish hardware-as-a-service
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platform ensures that business customers can protect their cash while their employees never have to work with outdated equipment again.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, Checkout.com, 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.
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
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 www.creandum.com.
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.