The lines outside the Palo Alto Apple store have been steadfast in the days following the launch of iPhone 6 and iOS8. Inside the store, the Apple hype machine is in full swing with consumer-facing propaganda showcasing the iPhone 6 “experience.”
However, what also interests us is what is taking place towards the back corner of the store – behind the fanfare and bustling iPhone scene. There, you’ll find the business applications section, which is symbolic of the opportunity for startups that are building serious businesses – at scale – to empower the small business owner.
There’s a subtle, yet opportunistic, revolution happening in markets around the world. Small businesses owners are increasingly ditching the traditional PC, and instead turning to Apple iOS and Google’s Android platforms in droves for lightweight, mobile software to run their businesses. For the nearly 30 million small businesses in America alone, this decision is as much intuitive as it is progressive. Most small businesses – whether cleaning services, landscapers, lawyers, contractors or plumbers – are inherently mobile and pressed for time. They lack resources and are starved for new tools that simplify and streamline everyday tasks like expense management, invoicing, cash flow accounting and scheduling.
Thanks to new smartphone applications, small business owners are now increasingly empowered to take charge of their businesses on the go 24/7, saving millions of collective hours of time, and facilitating billions of dollars in local commerce volume.
A new mobile generation for the small business
What’s most exciting to us at Accel is that many of the most popular business apps across categories like productivity, collaboration, travel and scheduling are from startups. And, we anticipate that this trend will exponentially grow in the decade, ahead resulting in a new generation of mobile-first, multi-billion software companies.
So, today we’re putting our money where our mouth is. We’re announcing a $35 million investment in Invoice2go – a company that we identified after a yearlong dive into the category, which sits at the forefront of the movement we’ve explained above. Invoice2go is a 100% mobile software platform built entirely for the small business. The company is as audacious as it is trusted, and beloved by more than 100,000 subscribers around the world.
Invoice2go enables small business owners to essentially run their entire business, including cash flow management, customer invoicing, expense tracking, operational tools and much, much more from their smartphone. The company is doing for small businesses on mobile, what first-generation players like Intuit and Xero built for the desktop.
Invoice2go – founded in Sydney, Australia – is in many ways a small business itself with founder, Chris Strode, having bootstrapped and run the company profitably for more than five years without ever taking on investors. We believe that the company’s growth and success will be an indicator of the SMB-focused tech industry at large as it challenges status-quo business operations in the years to come. Let’s look the company’s numbers:
- Ranks as highest grossing business app in more than 50 countries
- Relied upon by more than 100,000 small businesses to run their business operations
- Processes more than $10 billion of invoicing volume annually through its application
- Available in nine languages to accommodate a global community of small businesses
All of this success has happened with no formal marketing. Organic demand and strong viral growth in the small business community have driven its global success.
Further, our good friend and former Accel EIR, Greg Waldorf, has joined Chris’ team as CEO. Greg was previously CEO of eHarmony and chairman (and first investor) in Trulia – he knows a thing or two about building category-defining brands. Invoice2go is attracting top talent in both Palo Alto and Sydney, including recent hires like Naomi Ionita, who previously ran growth at Evernote. The company is actively looking for more great individuals to add to the team.
We could not be more enthusiastic about Invoice2go and look forward to a long partnership. Small business-focused, mobile-first companies will continue to change the global paradigm of business management, and we are eager to play a small part in helping Invoice2go further expand its leadership as a champion to business owners around the world.
Ryan Sweeney & John Locke
Partners, Accel; Board Members, Invoice2go