Bill.com Sends Out Its Own Bill, Scores $50M In Return
It’s hard to get super excited about what Bill.com does. The creation, sending and life cycle management of organizations bills is hardly sexy. But the humble Bill is the route by which revenue is generated – hence Bill.com is the conduit for a significant amount of commerce.
One transaction which is more important to Bill.com than others is a funding round closing today. I have no details but it would be poetic indeed if Bill.com sent one of its own invoices to the investors who today put $50 million into the company. The funding from Silicon Valley Bank alongside existing investors DCM Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, August Capital, Napier Park Global Capital and Commerce Ventures takes total funding for this company to over $100 million dollars. That’s a lot of cash for something as unsexy as Bills.
To understand why such a vanilla problem space attracted so much funding, it is important to see the valuable space within which Bill sits. The company literally sits at the intersection point between banks, the accounting software providers and businesses. Via a suite of different digital payment solutions, Bill is helping organizations pay and be paid. For anyone within a large organization who is unused to the intricacies of billing, it is important to get a sense for the inflexibility and sheer pain that traditional approaches entail. I have clients that are Bill customers and simply being able to email a bill to a specific email address, secure in the knowledge that the bill will then be automatically included in the client’s workflow, makes life easier. Of course Bill can’t help with the problem that some clients are somewhat tardy when it comes to paying, but at leas t the excuse that the bill was never received is no longer available to them.
Bill has managed to scale its reach – it counts three of the US’ top 10 banks within those who use Bill for the account payable and accounts receivable parts of their business. In addition, Bill claims that 35 of the top 100 accounting firms in the US use Bill for clients’ payments and receivables. Bill claims 600,000 members and transactions of over $19 billion annually. While these are purely vanity metrics (Bill doesn’t, after all, get a cut of that $19 billion and the 600,000 individuals aren’t customers, simply people who use the Bill system), the fact is that Bill is growing well.
While it would be nice to think that intermediaries like Bill are no longer needed, the fact of the matter is that with so many different systems being used (from SMB accounting products to excel templates through to ERP products), there is unquestionably a need for a third party that can help with Bill “translation”. The company looks well poised to continue its growth in the marketplace as more people get used to the idea of electronic invoicing, payment and workflow processes.