Fintech Startup Autobooks Raises $10M from Group of Midwestern VCs

Autobooks, the Detroit-based financial technology startup spun out of Billhighway in 2015, has raised $10 million in a Series A1 funding round. Contributors included Draper Triangle, Baird Capital, Detroit Venture Partners, Invest Michigan, and CU Solutions Group.

Steve Robert, CEO of Autobooks, says this latest round comes a few months after the company raised a $5.5 million Series A. Robert says there was enough investor interest to open the round up for additional contributions. “After seeing a lot of growth, we wanted to fuel our momentum,” he explains.

Autobooks licenses its receivables software to banks and credit unions, which they in turn use with their small-business customers. “As money is moving in and out of their accounts, Autobooks automatically reconciles it to the ledger,” Robert says, similar to the way Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software works. “QuickBooks caters to finance professionals, and Autobooks caters to small-business owners.”

Autobooks, which has raised a total of $17.5 million since its inception, is playing in “a big space and big market,” Robert says. “You have to be well-funded to compete. The market is enormous, probably worth $2 trillion, but not all of it is addressable.” In addition to QuickBooks, the 17-person company’s other competitors include Xero and Wave.

Nevertheless, Robert calls what Autobooks offers “100 percent unique to the marketplace” due to the way the technology works and its business-to-business approach. As for the company’s plans in 2018, Robert says it will be all about “growth, growth, growth.” The company has closed a few partnerships and reseller agreements, including one with a top-10 bank—details to be announced later, he says—and he says he expects to see “two to three dozen implementations, increasingly national” happen throughout the year.

Robert spent 13 years at Billhighway, mostly as its chief information officer, before the company was acquired by BluePay in 2016. He’s excited about Autobooks’ future, and says it’s in good shape as far as operating capital goes.

“It took a long time to grow Billhighway,” Robert adds. “I’m really excited to do that again, but with more resources.”

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