Posted on Monday, Jun 19th 2017
I have known serial entrepreneur René Lacerte for years. He started Cashview, which renamed itself to Bill.com, and has grown in leaps and bounds.
Palo Alto-based Bill.com was founded by René in 2006 to simplify, consolidate, and automate how business and finance professionals manage their payments processes for accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash flow management tasks. With more than 20 years experience in the finance, software, and payments industries through his earlier venture PayCycle, René knew the importance of connecting the stakeholders within a payment cycle and the need to build collaboration and communication tools within a solution. He used this experience to create Cashview that was later rebranded as Bill.com.
Today, Bill.com is a leading digital business payments company that has simplified the accounts payables and receivables solution for small and medium businesses. It has positioned itself at the center of business payments, uniting banks, accountants, and businesses on the fastest growing payments network. It helps more than a million of its network members process over $25 billion in payments per year. It believes that by securely automating the end-to-end process of billing and payments, it has saved companies up to half their time.
Bill.com’s provides organizations with a payment and billing solution that is well integrated with the customer’s accounting platform. It helps businesses enter invoices quickly and easily. Businesses are able to get invoiced directly, pay from anywhere, anytime, and select the payment method they prefer to use. They can also manage the accounts receivable process by sending out automated invoices and reminders, directly depositing cash into their accounts via ACH, credit card, or PayPal and synchronizing payment data with the accounting software to keep their books updated real-time.
As René described it back then, businesses can see all the amounts and invoices due for payment, all the bills that a vendor has ever sent along with other details such as other documents from the vendor, payments for any particular bill and even the images of canceled checks.
It has also tied up with three of the top 10 US banks to improve their service offerings for the SMB segment. The partnership helps banks offer their SMB customers a comprehensive platform for bill payment and invoicing while maintaining high security standards for authentication and vendor management.
Bill.com has been privately held and does not disclose detailed financials. It earns revenues through a monthly subscription fee that provides businesses with access to unlimited document storage, payments, receivables, and cash-flow management. It also charges a per-transaction fee for checks and ACH electronic payments. Given that Bill.com has over a million members and basic subscription starts at $19 per user per month, that translates to a revenue of nearly $230 million annually on subscription alone. At that revenue, I am pretty confident that it is over two billion dollars in valuation in current conditions.
The company received $1.5 million in funding from friends to help set itself up. Since then, it has raised $159 million in all from investors including American Express, American Express Ventures, August Capital, Bank of America, Burch Creative Capital, Commerce Ventures, DCM Ventures, Emergence Capital Partners, Fifth Third Bancorp, Financial Partners Fund, First Round, Icon Ventures, Napier Park Global Capital, Peter Knight, Scale Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, TTV Capital, and West Capital Advisors. Its last round of funding was held in April 2015 when it raised $30 million at an undisclosed valuation. An earlier $8.5 million funding round held in 2010 had valued Bill.com at $36.4 million.
Bill.com’s future plans are not widely discussed. Intuit bought PayCycle, Rene’s first company. Intuit’s QuickBooks already has a strong integration with the Bill.com platform allowing seamless online billing and payments. Other buyers in the field could be bigger players like Oracle or Workday who are expanding their Cloud offerings, especially in the financial space. Microsoft is also a possibility.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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