Chift lets SaaS companies integrate with dozens of financial tools with a unified API

Pennylane, Qonto, Agicap, Pleo and Mollie have one thing in common. They all use Chift in one way or another to manage integrations with other services. And this relatively young Belgium-based startup just raised a €2.3 million seed round ($2.5 million at today’s exchange rate).

Many fintech startups rely on integrations to make their product work with their customers’ financial stack. They often end up building countless of connectors and partner integrations to keep financial information consistent across several products. As their integration ecosystem grows, they sometimes rely on an iPaaS provider (integration platform-as-a-service).

Chift essentially acts as a third-party integration expert. It works a bit like Codat in the U.K. and Merge in the U.S. Instead of building connectors one by one, Chift offers a set of unified APIs that are compatible with the most popular financial tools out there.

For instance, Chift has developed an accounting API that is compatible with French accounting software from Sage, Cegid and Pennylane. The company has also developed integrations around invoicing tools, e-commerce platforms and point-of-sales software.

Chift has decided to focus on financial tools first. “We’re integrating with tools that generate financial data,” co-founder and CEO Gauthier Henroz told TechCrunch.

Unlike other industries, the fintech market is still relatively fragmented — each European country has its own accounting or invoicing platforms. But it can be useful to be able to access financial data from any SaaS product.

As more companies start relying on Chift, the startup can add more connectors. All of Chift’s clients can benefit from these new integrations. As an added benefit for Chift, it creates a barrier to entry to newcomers.

“In Europe, that’s where all the complexity lies. Things are going to be different in every country, particularly for accounting, points of sales and invoicing tools,” Henroz said.

“We help our customers, who then upsell or open up new markets. There’s very little churn because you’re integrated, you’re connected, you connect them to others and you create new opportunities for them,” he added later in the conversation.

Developing an integration isn’t a one-off project either. Companies release updates to their APIs, which can lead to failures. Chift is in charge of maintaining these integrations. SaaS companies can focus on their core product instead of those integrations.

Investors in the seed round include Entourage (Pieterjan Bouten’s fund), Shapers (Philippe Teixeira da Mota’s fund), Seeder Fund and several business angels. “Our goal is to become the European leader,” Henroz said.

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