The Inside Story behind our Series A Funding

Nov 20, 2017 by Jeremy Almond

We recently announced a $6M Series A round led by BlueRun Ventures with participation from Cervin Ventures, Serra Ventures, TiE, LEAP Global Partners and Capital for Founders. You can read the full press release here. Alongside the funding we also are announcing a new free product line in beta called AP. Read on to get the insider take on why we raised the capital, why we are building AP, and what's in store for the future at Paystand.

Why did Paystand raise venture capital?

Sometimes in Silicon Valley, where Paystand is based, it can almost seem like a foregone conclusion that tech companies raise VC money, but in fact there's plenty of ways to build great companies from bootstrapping out of profitability, to bank loans and other forms of debt, to going all in with the blockchain using bleeding edge (and controversial) ICO funding. As a B2B company with great customers, real revenue, cutting-edge blockchain technology, and a great team, all of those options were available, but here's why we chose to go the VC route:

1. Rapidly growing into our mission to reboot commercial finance

Despite enormous changes in dozens of industries brought by the advent of digital technology, commercial finance and payments is still dominated by pre-internet, legacy systems that add unnecessary costs and delays for businesses of all types. In a world where technology is advanced enough to give us self-driving cars and rockets to Mars, there’s no reason $18.5 Trillion in B2B payments should be stuck with slow paper checks, manual spreadsheets, and expensive tools anymore. Paystand takes the best of automation, customization and blockchain technology to finally bring B2B payments into the Digital Age.

2. Finding the right investors to help us scale our vision

There's a legendary story in the startup world about the series A investment in the first break-out consumer payment tech company. In a restaurant called Bucks in a mountain town just outside sand hill rd, their first multi-million dollar investment was "beamed" from one palm pilot to another palm pilot.  In that little restaurant in a click of a button, mobile payments was born, and a $91B company launched.

That investor was Blue Run Ventures our new lead investors. They've since gone on to not only help build PayPal, but a number of other iconic fintech companies like Coupa Software, the enterprise procurement platform that IPO'd last year, and Kabbage the B2B lending company that recently became a SoftBank "unicorn". To say we are thrilled to be working with BRV and awe inspired with the big shoes we have to fill would be an understatement. Special thanks also to Cervin Ventures, Serra Ventures, TiE and number of our other seed investors who've been extremely supportive, great champions, and shown the conviction you want in a partner since the earliest of days. We still have a lot of work to do, and we're sure glad these guys are all on our side.  

3. Once in a century industry shift means a change of guard

As excited as we are about, our goal to transform B2B payments, there's an even larger shift going on in financial services, and it's beyond any one company. The blockchain represents a once in a century change to our economic structure. Big statement, we know. But the reality is while the internet has transformed industries from the media to telco's, it's only been able to make a partial dent in deep rooted industries like finance, insurance, supply chain, and even government.

The blockchain brings the Internet philosophy of open, transparent, secure, cross border, decentralized technology to critical information sectors. Because let's face it, with everything from the 2008 financial crisis to the more recent Equifax breach, old guard industries like finance have really let us as a society down. Just like the internet revolution did with Amazon, Google, and Facebook, new winners will emerge within the blockchain economy.  We aim to invest heavily in both sales and marketing growth and new technology led products like our new Accounts Payable solution to help create a whole new world in commercial finance.

Beta Launch of Accounts Payable Network

The next-gen B2B payment network Paystand has developed over the last few years has primarily focused on removing friction from the accounts receivable process, simplifying one of business’s most notorious headaches—collecting their money. But the next logical step for us is to help digitize and automate the other half of the equation - accounts payable.  A significant number of business were already using Paystand to pay specific bills (to our customers), but the new Paystand AP solution will go one step further, enabling any businesses to completely transform their entire accounts payable cycle - greatly improving efficiency, security and control.

Paystand's new solution will speed up the accounting department’s time by eliminating the laborious need to cut paper checks. It will also give finance added control and visibility of the vendor payments through full data tracking within the entire cash cycle. The automation will reduce the chance for human error and improve critical security with payments that are specific to the vendor and even the exact invoice amount, thereby reducing possibilities of theft and fraud.

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For more information on how Paystand can help your business simplify your back-office payment process, don't hesitate to contact us today.