Buzz

Venture Capital Deal Buzz: Bill.com

Erin Griffith, Contributing Editor


Bill.com wants to render administrative assistants, and the hours of billing, invoicing, filing, and chasing down payment approvals they do, obsolete. The Palo Alto-based payment automation startup straddles two trendy fields for startups: online payments and business-to-business services. What's more, it's green. Bill.com allows businesses which still use paper checks and invoices (a surprisingly high figure) to ditch the dead trees and take their accounting online.

In recent years, startups like Venmo, BillMeLater, and PayNearMe set out to change the way people pay each other and vendors. Cash, it seems, is on its way out. Meanwhile, startups like brite:bill, Zendesk and Assistly have focused on streamlining day to day paperwork for small businesses. Bill.com does both, serving CPAs and small and midsized businesses, and venture capitalists have taken note.

The company has received a total $19.1 million in venture backing, starting with its first $2.1 million round in 2006. In 2009 and in 2010, Bill.com raised $8.5 million Series B and Series C rounds. Those rounds valued the company at $20.8 million in 2009 and $36.4 million in 2010, according to VC Experts Valuation & Deal Term Database. Bill.com is backed by August Capital, DCM, Emergence Capital Partners, Jafco Ventures, and Total Technology Ventures.

The company called its 2010 funding "opportunistic," and "unsolicited," and most importantly "driven by our exceptional results" in 2009. It's not inflated self-congratulatory corporatespeak-the company's monthly revenue, total number of customers, and unique paid vendors increased by more than 800% in 2009, according to Techcrunch.

Bill.com has more than 10,000 clients and has received countless pieces of praise from trade and general media outlets. Amusingly, the company was subject of a somewhat sad Wall St. Journal article last year about its shortcomings on Facebook. Despite its 10,000 clients, Bill.com only had 67friends on the social networking site (since the October 2010 article, Bill.com's fan count has grown to 873). B2B companies, the article argued, haven't really found their stride in the world of social networking. (I say, no matter-B2B companies don't live and die by internet popularity.)

If history is any indication, Bill.com's ultimate goal could be a sale: the company's founder Rene Lacerte also started Paycycle, an online payroll service which sold to Intuit for $170 million in 2009. (Note to potential acquirers: In addition to accounting and entrepreneurship, Mr. Lacerte also apparently likes chocolate chip cookies, a lot, according to his official bio.)

At a $36 million valuation, Bill.com likely doesn't have the critical mass it needs for a blockbuster deal like Paycycle's. And coming off of an unsolicited round of funding in 2010, its unclear whether the company will seek new capital this year.

Last week the company launched a mobile app that allows users to review, approve and make payments from their smartphones.

For detailed information on Bill.com's valuation and rounds of funding, subscribe to VC Experts Valuation & Deal Term Database.