Both a focus startup and part of the AngelKings portfolio, inDinero illustrates the principle from our book, Kings Over Aces, that there's nothing new under the sun–particularly when you're talking about accounting services. The startup's cloud–based accounting services offer payroll, tax, and other bookkeeping options, which are all available through other companies or software. Remember, though, that a product that offers less expensive or more convenient services has a good chance at succeeding, and that's what inDinero delivers.
The startup offers all–in–one back office accounting so businesses of all sizes can concentrate on revenue–generating activity instead of tedious accounting functions. inDinero also charges clients based on monthly pricing that is easy to predict, which may not always be the case with traditional accountants and bookkeepers.
One thing that excites us about inDinero is that its product is designed for small and mid-sized business, but the product scales with business growth to support organizations with eight–figure revenues and 100 or more employees.
inDinero's startup story is interesting, as it provides a different outlook than some of the other companies we've covered in depth. The startup launched in 2010 and was successful at seeking seed funding. The product in 2010 was a self–service, small business, financial tracking tool–not what inDinero is today. While pursuing the first version of its product, inDinero faced challenges. It almost ran out of money and had to lay off all its employees before revamping the product; at relaunch in 2013, inDinero was able to land $7 million in funding and has since seen more success.
The story is important, because it speaks to our point in a previous chapter: As an angel investor, you are not investing in a perfect product. You're investing in people and ideas, and some ideas take more tweaking than others to achieve success. We are proud to have inserted capital with inDinero.
Recurly's platform makes it easy for businesses of any size to set up, manage, and automate recurring bills. An increase in subscription services in all types of niches has made recurring bills a big business opportunity, and a secure, customized platform is a product that generates substantial interest among small and midsized businesses. Recurly entered the market just as this need was rapidly increasing following the success of subscription services such as Netflix and Ipsy.
In a world where no retailer or bank seems capable of guaranteeing protection of your account information with 100 percent assurance, BillGuard makes it easy for you to do the monitoring yourself. The startup partnered with Experian and offers an app that displays all your account information in a single dashboard. A few glances throughout the day provide peace of mind about account status, and the app also provides security notifications. BillGuard scores high as a startup due in part to its entry into a consumer market that is frightened by growing virtual threats and has a psychological need to do something to protect itself.
Wealthfront delivers on–demand investment advice and services without high account minimums and fees that keep many people from building wealth through investing. One thing that makes Wealthfronts a top fintech startup is that it takes an existing solution–investment services–and makes it available to a new market. We talked before about creating a have situation for the have–nots, and this product does that. Deeply entrenched companies like Charles Schwab are now copying these auto–investing platforms. When the big boys copy your clothing, you know you’re onto something big.
Acorn Investing has opened investing and financial management up for the masses. Their seamless interface allows for auto–investing and saving for millions of investors who want to get in the stock market game. This platform is groundbreaking. Of course, they do run the risk of being copied or cloned by companies like Rocket Internet, but if they do hit scale fast enough, we expect this one could be a billion-dollar company in no time.