VANCOUVER, May 4, 2016 - Bain Capital Ventures led a $16 million Series B up-round in Bench, an online bookkeeping service for small businesses. The financing was joined by Altos Ventures and Contour Venture Partners, both series A investors in Bench, and will go toward product development.
Bench, an online bookkeeping service for small businesses and independent contractors, announced today that it closed a $16 million Series B up-round led by Bain Capital Ventures and joined by Altos Ventures and Contour Venture Partners. Altos and Contour were also Series A investors in Bench.
The new round, which brings total capital raised to $33 million, will go toward significant product enhancements and the rollout of a new product.
Ian Crosby, the CEO and co-founder of Bench, and a member of the Forbes 30 under 30, said, “We offer entrepreneurs a better way to solve a universal problem. We are hitting a disruptive price point and executing well in a space that is ripe for change.”
The low price point for Bench’s services can be attributed to its efficient backend. Since 2012, Bench has made significant strides in its multi-year journey toward fully automating the job of a bookkeeper. By creating task-specific algorithms and perfecting tools that can work seamlessly with bank data, payment data, etc., Bench has reduced the labour time of its bookkeepers by 75%.
Bench is capitalizing on the explosive growth of sole proprietorships and independent contractors in recent years. In 2013, the IRS received more than 24 million 1040 Schedule Cs (the tax form completed by sole proprietorships and independent contractors), up from less than 20 million in 2003. In addition, the IRS in 2014 received about 90 million 1099-MISC forms (the tax form completed by independent contractors), up from 16.4 million in 2010.
The company has seen major demand for online bookkeeping services as the millennial generation of small business owners and independent contractors naturally gravitates toward online solutions and cloud-based communication.
“The structural shift in the U.S. economy toward sole proprietorships and away from corporate payroll jobs presents an opportunity to serve a rapidly expanding segment,” said Indy Guha, a San Francisco-based partner at Bain Capital Ventures (BCV) and new Bench Board member. “Bench is capturing the attention of people who grew up with the Internet and who seek convenient cloud and mobile solutions to eliminate unwanted tasks. BCV was impressed with the level of scalability Bench has achieved and is excited by the chance to back an important new SMB platform,” Guha added.
Since its Series A funding announcement sixteen months ago, Bench has doubled its workforce in Vancouver, BC to 230 employees and tripled its revenue while expanding its service to thousands of small businesses across the U.S. Notable clients include writer James Clear and Brenden Mulligan of Cluster who says, “Bench is the best hands-off bookkeeping solution we’ve used at both Cluster and LaunchKit. The way they have paired their simple software with a service team has me recommending it to others whenever I can.”
Bench is a four-year-old fintech company that automates accounting tasks for small businesses and independent contractors for a monthly fee. Pairing its intuitive software with a live bookkeeping team, Bench combines the convenience and efficiency of modern technology with the expertise and time-savings afforded by a professional service. Bench was founded by Forbes 30 under 30 winner, Ian Crosby along with Jordan Menashy, Adam Saint and Pavel Rodionov in 2012. Bench has raised $33 million in venture capital to date, services thousands of business owners and employs 230 people. It is based in Vancouver, Canada. Follow @Bench or visit https://bench.co/
About Bain Capital Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures (BCV) partners with disruptive B2B startup founders to accelerate bringing their ideas to market. The firm’s investments range from seed to growth stage in enterprise software, infrastructure software and in industries being transformed by data. BCV has helped launch and commercialize more than 200 companies since 1984, including select prior investments in DocuSign, Kiva Systems, LinkedIn, Rapid7, SurveyMonkey and TellApart. BCV has approximately $3 billion in assets under management and offices in the Bay Area, New York City and Boston. Follow BCV at @BainCapVC or visit http://www.baincapitalventures.com
About Altos Ventures
Altos is a venture growth fund that invests in founder-led software, mobile and Internet companies. For over a dozen years, entrepreneurs around the world have trusted the Altos team to provide pragmatic and patient guidance to scale their businesses into category leaders. Altos has been lead and first institutional investor in over 50 companies that together have generated billions in aggregate revenue and successful exits in U.S. and global markets. Learn more at http://www.altos.vc
About Contour Venture Partners
Contour Venture Partners is a New York City based early stage venture capital firm. Contour invests in companies that provide innovative technology enhanced solutions into the financial services, enterprise SaaS and digital media sectors. Contour partners with passionate entrepreneurs and management teams to build great businesses that seek to ultimately transform their industries. Contour has a long and successful investment track record, having invested in over 50 companies through numerous market cycles. For more information about Contour Venture Partners or its portfolio companies visit: http://www.contourventures.com.