New venture in accounting To facilitate the outsourcing of back-office tasks for small enterprises, Pilot has raised investment from Silicon Valley investors including Jeff Bezos. This week, the San Francisco-based startup raised $100 million, increasing its valuation to $1.2 billion.
Bezos’s Bezos Expeditions and Whale Rock Capital, a hedge fund, lead the round, with Sequoia and Index Ventures also participating. Patrick and John Collison, the creators of Stripe, and Diane Greene, the former CEO of VMware, were among the early investors in Pilot.
Pilot SMBS 100M Expeditions Whale Rock
Waseem Daher, the company’s co-founder and CEO, worked as an intern at Amazon 16 years ago. He went on to start two other successful businesses. Both were purchased; Oracle for the former and Dropbox for the latter.
He compared Pilot’s scenario to a problem that is addressed by AWS: enabling programmers to concentrate on making money rather than worrying about where to put their code. Small business owners have “all this irritating, tiresome, terrifying, and important back-office stuff that you need to do,”.
Owners should be concerned with scaling the business, while Pilot handles administrative tasks. The personnel of Pilot, who are primarily made up of retired accountants, are given a client company to work with.
Payroll, accounting, tax preparation, and utility bill paying are just some of the administrative responsibilities they perform. American Express is one of the many companies that have joined forces with the startup. bill.com, gusto, stripe, and other similar services.
Daher calls it “tech-enabled,” although Pilot isn’t a software firm. Membership fees are the primary source of revenue for the business. Despite the fact that small businesses were hit most by Covid-related shutdowns, Pilot’s revenue increased by about 50% throughout the epidemic.
Since its inception in 2017, Daher says, the company’s revenue has almost tripled annually. He said the uptick was due to more people realising they could use automation to run their businesses from home. Also, according to Daher, more millennials are beginning small enterprises, and they are more likely to be receptive to outsourcing via a technological platform.
A lot of people want to do it online. They’d rather not bring their shoebox full of receipts down to their accountant’s office on Main Street, he explained. Daher co-founded Pilot with its current COO, Jeff Arnold, and CTO, Jessica McKellar, for the third time.
The members of the organisation first connected while they were all undergraduates at MIT, where they joined forces in the school’s computer club. When Pilot’s early investor, Mark Goldberg of Index Ventures, met the company’s founders for the first time, it was at Dropbox.
Goldberg claims that Pilot is utilising the “reverse strategy” by reintroducing humans into the equation, whereas the prevailing Silicon Valley story is “centred on using software to optimise for everything.” No one embarks on business ownership with the intention of handling bureaucratic nonsense.
Goldberg remarked, “You want someone to extract that pain point.” “What people really want isn’t software; it’s security.”