"Small businesses want help with cash flow. We do that."

Publication Date13 Dec 2020
AuthorOmri Zerachovitz
Their purpose, however, was not to set up an accounting firm, but to find out about business-to-business payments, and specifically one important factor: the volume of payments made by check in the US, amounting to $18 trillion a year. The entrepreneurs wanted to understand how it was that, in the world of e-payment services like Bit, Pepper, and Shopify, business to business (B2B) payments lagged so very far behind.

They decided to interview 100 small businesses to understand the challenges and difficulties they faced in paying suppliers, but concluded that this wasn't the way to understand the issue in depth, as they didn't even know the right questions to ask.

At that point, they decided to set up the accounting company. They entrusted Dafna Barkat, who actually came from the world of politics, with the task accounts management, which she learned on the job. For four months, Barkat managed customer accounts via WhatsApp, free-of-charge. Today, she is responsible for all of the company's customer support and customer success activities.

"We wanted to understand the nuances within the workflow. It helped us create a precise product much faster, and saved us a lot of time," say the three entrepreneurs, who developed a B2B payment system that is gaining momentum. The company has tens of thousands of customers, and within a year the volume of payments executed through it has ballooned from zero to billions of dollars on an annualized basis. "According to our investors, we're probably the fastest growing payments company in the US," they say. Today, the juice stand, restaurants and other businesses use the company's system.

Most transfers made through the company's systems are free-of-charge; the company makes money by helping some of its customers advance or defer payments (details below). The company did not wish to provide details about its revenue, but did say that it had reached the tens of millions of dollars. "The rapid growth required 100% of our resources - every available programmer or product manager was involved in supporting this growth and our infrastructure. Now, we're adding all kinds of features that will allow us to gain more revenue," says Bar.

Two rounds, four months

The three entrepreneurs founded Melio in early 2018. The oldest of them, Atias (41), has extensive experience in technology development and serves as VP of technology. While still in high school, he began a degree in computer science and physics, and served in an IDF...

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