Spurred by record levels of online shopping, investors have rushed to back e-commerce software companies this year. As they did so, they shifted their bets to startups that process digital payments and power online checkout, such as Klarna and Rapyd.
Investment in e-commerce software companies—a group that includes firms working behind the scenes on payments or supporting websites, but not the online retailers themselves—rose 51% in the first half of this year from the figure for all of last year, to $12.4 billion, according to data from CB Insights.
Companies that handle online payments—say, with interest-free installment loans or one-click–checkout technology—are what’s driving this gain. The sector’s fundraising for just the first half of the year jumped 172% from last year’s total, surging to $4.9 billion—the most raised by any e-commerce software group.