London-based startup Apron announced that it has raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by Index Ventures, with Bessemer Venture Partners and Visionaries Club participating. The company wants to help small companies when it comes to processing invoices.
Apron is specifically targeting small companies that don’t have a finance department and that simply don’t use any specific tool to track and pay invoices. They rely heavily on email chains and their online banking portal.
It starts with the classic software-as-a-service play: Apron acts as the central repository for all your invoices. After that, you can set up rules and workflows so that large invoices are reviewed by the CEO before they are paid. The startup takes advantage of open banking in the U.K., meaning that you can approve payments in Apron and payments are sent directly from your bank account.
As British companies also often rely on foreign suppliers, Apron supports payments in 30 currencies at a good exchange rate with a 0.5% conversion fee. It can also be used to pay employees in one go.
Apron also integrates with Xero and QuickBooks. The platform helps you reconcile payments with invoices so that you can easily see if you already paid something or not.
“Apron puts itself in the position of all these users – accountants, business owners and suppliers – and instead of trying to solve business payments from just one perspective, we create a town square where they can all come together to move money as smoothly as possible,” Apron’s founder Bogdan Uzbekov said in a statement. “We want to flip payments from being a blocker to being a booster: something that can be done quickly, securely and even give you a sense of joy and satisfaction.”
Uzbekov formerly worked at Revolut, the consumer fintech giant based in the U.K. His new product has been live for the past six months and millions of pounds are already processed through Apron every month.
As a product tailored for small businesses, Apron isn’t that expensive. It starts with a pay-as-you-go plan with a free subscription and a fee of £1.20 per supplier payment. Bigger companies can pay a monthly subscription fee to lower supplier payments to £0.50 per payment.