Bench, the TechStars-backed company that matches bookkeepers with businesses, has today closed a $7 million Series A round. The financing was led by Altos Ventures with participation from Contour Venture Partners.
Bench started out as 10sheet, an algorithm-meets-human platform where SMBs could sign up to have all their transaction paperwork sent directly through the 10sheet system and then looked over by a human bookkeeper. The idea was to remove the hassle of bookkeeping so businesses can focus on the service or product they provide, instead of focusing on hiring an accountant to handle the books or doing it themselves.
Turns out, the human piece of the equation was important.
So after graduating TechStars, the Vancouver-based company rebranded to Bench and implemented a system in which every customer would be matched directly with their own Bench bookkeeper. The technology still pulls in transactions from corporate cards and checking accounts, but also provides a one-on-one service to communicate with your assigned accountant.
Since the rebranding, the company has been focused on improving the product to enhance that one-on-one relationship. For example, the startup recently introduced in-app messaging between you and your Bench accountant so that you can communicate any time about any issue without having to call a number or send an email to some generic address.
This latest round brings total funding for the company to $9.1 million.
Bench is using the money to make more hires and build out a solid employee recruitment engine. The company currently has 126 employees, many of which are Bench’s own accountants as the startup only uses its own accountants instead of using a third-party.
“Our job is to ensure that the experience you have is easy and as painless as possible,” said cofounder Jordan Menashy. “We don’t want to effectively risk that relationship or that experience because we used a contractor or an overseas operation when this is ultimately what people are coming to us for. People think you can’t scale if you do the work yourself, but we’re in the business of proving we can actual scale this model.”
Hiring more accountants will give Bench the ability to meet demand better, and the extra funding will allow for a better office and a better system for bringing on and retaining talent.