Beanworks is an all-in-one cloud-based accounts payable (AP) automation platform. As a company built by accountants for accountants, Beanworks helps teams of all sizes succeed by automating everything to do with AP — a notoriously frustrating and time-consuming part of the accounting process.
Recently acquired by Quadient — a global leader in business process automation and customer experience management — Beanworks had a successful exit for its founders and investors.
We caught up with Catherine Dahl, co-founder and CEO of Beanworks, to chat about the company’s growth journey.
Where It Began for Beanworks
Beanworks started out as Bean Services in 2012. The company grew its customer base and revenue by solving a huge problem for customers — reducing the manual processes involved in accounts payable.
The team realized it had to pivot its product development into a multi-tenant full SaaS model in order to reach a product-market fit that would easily scale. They required funding to help them do that as they continued to service their customer base.
“We had customers and we had revenue,” recalled Catherine. “This worked against us somewhat, because investors couldn’t understand why we weren’t growing. We needed to rebuild our product which was going to take some time.”
The founders’ original plan was to rebuild the product, grow the customer base, and sell the company. They estimated it would take 13 months to accomplish this but in reality, it took just over three years to rebuild the product and another six years to grow the company to a point where they could exit at a good valuation.
Beanworks was one of the first companies that TIMIA Capital invested in back in 2017. Beanworks took on revenue financing from TIMIA in conjunction with its series A round.
“TIMIA’s capital was a good way to avoid dilution, which was the main reason we selected it,” said Catherine. “If your revenue is high enough and you don’t want to raise equity funding, revenue financing is a good way to go.”
Beanworks used TIMIA’s funding to grow its engineering team and scale up its sales team. Since Beanworks was still in the process of rebuilding its product, the team raised more equity funding and exited the TIMIA agreement.
“Anything that helps drive revenue helps drive valuation so that extra money from TIMIA definitely helped us bring our revenue up,” said Catherine.
At the time, Beanworks was just over $1 million in revenue and the company has been doubling its revenue year over year ever since.
As a capital-efficient organization, Beanworks raised 40% less capital than its competitors and remained efficient, even as it scaled. Even during the pandemic, the company raised USD $4 million to see it through, compared to the $25-50 million that some of its competitors raised.
The result? Beanworks has seen tremendous growth in the past few years and had a successful exit in 2021 when it sold to Quadient. We look forward to seeing where it grows from here!
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