Lemon Secures £500K Pre-Seed Funding to Cut SMB SaaS Costs

Manchester-based fintech startup, Lemon, has successfully closed its pre-seed funding round, raising £500,000 to propel the next phase of its development.

The round was led by SFC Capital, the UK's most active early-stage VC, alongside Pitchdrive, a European fund that specializes in pre-seed and seed investments. The investment is significant not just for its monetary value but also for the extensive expertise and guidance the investors bring to Lemon at the outset of its growth journey. Additionally, Lemon received angel investment from Nick Dodd, former Partner of Debt Advisory at KPMG, and the Co-Founder of fintech communications agency SkyParlour, both of whom will serve on Lemon’s advisory board.

At its core, Lemon offers a platform that enables SMBs to discover, finance, and manage their SaaS subscriptions. Lemon's research indicates that SMBs may spend over £30,000 annually on SaaS software, often without realizing the extent of their expenditure. Through Lemon's management tool, SMBs can consolidate their subscriptions, identify overspending, gain insight into company-wide SaaS usage, and streamline costs—potentially cutting their average spend by 20%. Many SMBs depend on software subscriptions for enhancing business efficiency across functions such as HR, marketing, and accounting. Lemon's tool allows them to save significantly on these costs with minimal effort.

Following this funding milestone, Lemon will focus on product development, supported by the recent appointment of Matt Parke as Chief Technical Officer and the forthcoming addition of a new Content & Community Manager. The development phase will concentrate on collaborating with early customers to tailor the product to meet their most urgent needs, optimise tools, and strive for early product-market fit, all while continuing to reduce SaaS expenditures for SMBs. In the future, Lemon plans to expand its product features to include cost-saving instant credit options that enable SMBs to take advantage of discounted annual subscriptions from vendors while maintaining the flexibility of monthly payments.

This funding round is especially noteworthy as it underscores the ongoing demand for innovative fintech solutions that address real-world business challenges globally, even in a tough economic environment. Additionally, it highlights the enduring investor interest in SaaS-focused fintechs, despite a general downturn in funding within the sector.

Speaking on behalf of the lead VC, SFC Capital, on the raise,  Ed Stevenson, Investment Executive, said: “We are really excited to be backing Lemon in their pre-seed round. SaaS is a huge spend for many businesses so being able to reduce costs, centralise management and easily spot inefficiencies is hugely valuable. We believe that Lemon can scale into a dominant product with their vision to introduce instant credit, payments, discoverability and analytics. We are glad to be part of the journey with Matt and the team.”

Co-Founder and CEO of Lemon Matt Bird commented: “It’s clear that we’re going through a really interesting period for SMBs at the moment,. Taking into consideration the challenging economic landscape with funding drying up everywhere you turn, SMBs now need the tools and services to help them build better businesses as cost-efficiently as possible. With software being the third largest spend for an SMB, we really think Lemon can become a core part of how an SMB uses SaaS.

“We’re really excited to be backed by two fantastic investment teams at SFC Capital and Pitchdrive, who not only believe in our vision and the future we want to build, but bring a wealth of knowledge alongside the funding we need to continue building Lemon and ultimately support as many SMBs globally with their growth trajectory too. There’s a long road ahead, but we’re really excited to be on this journey with our new investors.”

Koen Christiaens, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Pitchdrive, also said: “We fully believe in the vision of Lemon and can see how much of a gamechanger the solution can be for SMBs. Managing subscriptions remains a chaotic task for most businesses, so having a single view of subscription spend, coupled with the ability to access sustainable finance which reduces burn and promote cash-flow efficiency, makes us very excited. We believe Lemon can become a household name for the SaaS industry over the next couple of years.”