Bench, the TechStars-backed bookkeeping service for SMBs, has today announced the close of an $18 million B-1 funding round led by iNovia Capital. Existing investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, Altos Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank, also participated in the round.
Bench first launched out of TechStars NYC in 2012. Back then, the company was called 10Sheet, and it aimed to providing accounting/bookkeeping services to small businesses through machine learning and an intuitive user interface. Users simply integrated their corporate credit cards and bank accounts and let Bench do its thing, tracking transactions and expenses to handle basic accounting for a business.
In 2013, 10Sheet relaunched as Bench with $2 million in seed funding, refocusing the business to more deeply involve human accountants. Since then, Bench has gone on to crunch $19 billion in expenses for its users, automating 60 percent of the tasks that its bookkeepers perform. This allows Bench’s human accountants to focus on customer service and CRM.
Bench offers various tiers for customers, according to the size of the transactions. Over the last year, the company has cut prices by 10 percent to 30 percent.
Bench currently has more than 250 employees, with 150 bookkeepers on staff.
CEO Ian Crosby says his greatest challenge is his own inexperience.
“I’m a first-time founder, and I’m having to learn how to be the CEO of the largest company I’ve ever run,” said Crosby. “The biggest challenge is my own inexperience, which is something I’m constantly trying to mitigate.”
Crosby hopes to use the funding to fuel growth and fund momentum of the company, with the goal of improving the automation side of the company even further and ultimately lower prices.