Apron, a London-based fintech that addresses the pains SMB owners and their finance teams face in the sorting, paying, and reconciling of invoices, has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round.
Founded by former Revolut product lead and Square European operations lead, Bogdan Uzbekov, Apron soft-launched earlier this year and intends to use the investment to expand its existing 20-member team.
The Series A round was led by Index Ventures and saw the participation of existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners alongside Visionaries Club.
While Apron is by no means alone in the solving-the-pain-of-invoicing category, it's not many startups that can boast a roster that includes former Revolut, Trade Republic, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Meta, Pleo … and the list goes on.
The pains of payment
According to the startup, although only approximately six months up and running, it's already processing millions of pounds of transactions every month, and working with, an undisclosed number of, hundreds of clients including small business owners Dani Reid and Agnes Potter of Potter&Reid, and thousands of payment receipts.
Whether you’ve ever run your own business or simply dealt with an operation not as easy as it sounds such as remodeling your home, you’re sure to have encountered the joys, or lack thereof, of paying suppliers. Granted, consumer-facing operations tend to be a lot less painful, however, the excitement and enthusiasm of entrepreneurship can quickly be usurped by the lackluster business that is the B2B payments process.
According to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy £1.5 trillion flows through the process of paying invoices every year in the UK alone, accounting for five hours of the average UK small business owner’s time per week.
Designed to completely revamp the way payments flow through a network of users, and fashioned with a user-friendly, consumer-esque interface, Apron’s aim is to turn the arduous task of payments into a pleasure rather than pain.
The platform is designed to integrate with, rather than replace, existing accounting systems such as Xero and Quickbooks, thereby eliminating the need to start from scratch.
Not just a slick app
Building on his experience expanding Revolut outside the UK in conjunction with working at Square as European Operations lead, Apron founder Bogdan Uzbekov recognised the market opportunity and chance to do something different from competitors.
“In consumer electronics, you need to understand the hardware as well as the software – that’s why Apple has been so successful. For Apron, you can think of our payments platform as the hardware, and our carefully designed workflows as the software. We’re not just a slick app, but a critical cog in the business machine that keeps small businesses moving forward.”
Lead image: The Apron team via getapron.com. Photo: Uncredited.