Apron, a company that aims to reduce the amount of time small businesses spend processing invoices, has raised £12.3 million in Series A funding. Index Ventures led the round, which included Bessemer Venture Partners and Visionaries Club. Despite only launching six months ago, Apron is already processing millions of pounds of transactions every month and working with hundreds of companies and thousands of payment recipients. The process of paying invoices can be manual and messy for businesses, with hours-long tasks involving multiple apps and services. According to Apron, the average small business owner in the UK spends five hours a week paying invoices, and £1.5 trillion flows through this process every year in the UK alone.
Apron connects to existing software that businesses and accountants are already using. It allows for the paying of multiple suppliers at once in more than 150 countries and in 30+ currencies at the ‘real’ exchange rate without hidden fees. It brings payments and approvals together, making authorizations and amendments quick and painless, while the software automates reconciliation, keeping books up-to-date. Pleased with the achievement, CEO Uzbekov said, “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.”
In addition to the Series A funding, Apron has launched Apron Hub, a new offering for accounting practices that allows them to add team members, assign tasks, see all pending actions on one page, and pre-configure approval chains for bills, across any number of clients. Apron has also announced Apron Snap, which will allow accountants to automatically capture and categorize invoices from all their clients and feed them into their bookkeeping software.
Apron will use the funding to expand its team of 20, which includes talent from Meta, Revolut, Square, and Yandex. The company was founded by Bogdan Uzbekov, who was a product leader at Revolut and helped expand the company outside the UK and create Revolut Bank in Europe. Additionally, Apron redesigns how payments flow through a network of users and puts those needs at the center of the product. Apron does not aim to replace accounting software but provides a town square where accountants, business owners, and suppliers can collaborate to move money as smoothly as possible.