Payments

Square alumni raise $12.75M for Found, a bookkeeping, taxes and banking platform for the self-employed

Square’s financial focus on SMBs is full stack, offering POS systems, loans, online stores, and banking services.

That makes Square alumni Lauren Myrick (formerly the GM of Stripe’s payroll offerings) and Connor Dunn (formerly an engineer Square Payroll) uniquely qualified to raise a $12.75 million venture round led by Sequoia with participation from a number of angel investors. The news was initially reported by FinLedger alumni Mary Ann Azevedo at TechCrunch.

As of today, Found offers three primary services:

  • Banking. With its business debit card from Mastercard, Found tracks expenses, allows owners to freeze accounts, and offers purchase alerts, according to its website.
  • Bookkeeping. Found will automatically categorize expenses, import transactions from third parties, and handle invoicing. It will also create profit & loss statements, business expense reports and income reports.
  • Taxes. The startup will calculate tax using “intelligent tax withholding,” auto-generate a Schedule C, and offer a tax savings account.

It does all this for without charging fees and requires no credit check or minimum balance. Found also offers a series of guides that dive into the details of bookkeeping, claiming deductions, self-employed PPP loans, among other topics.

Buying back time

Less attention has been paid to what happens after someone has made money from their work

—Ryan Lawler, Scrawler

For the estimated 30% of Americans who are self-employed—a large market that was sure to attract investors on top of the founding teams experience—these all-in-one finance platforms will likely be welcomed with open arms.

“It seems like less attention has been paid to what happens after someone has made money from their work… [it’s] a major stumbling block” wrote Ryan Lawler of Scrawler.

Former freelancer Erin Scherfner echoed the sentiment.

“The biggest struggles I faced financially was keeping track of my expenses. I relied on the support of friends who were also contractors, and those conversation aren’t necessarily easy,” she told FinLedger. “To help with this, I used Lili, which was fine, but Found seems to offer a broader set of services… and if I went back to contracting, I would absolutely switch.”

A crowded field

Regardless of how comprehensive Found’s services may be, it’s not the only company to offer similar services. As Scherfner mentioned, Lili, an “all-in-one banking service designed for freelance workers,” has been acquiring self-employed folks to its platform since 2018, according to Crunchbase

The company has also raised a total of $80 million, a large war chest that could be deployed into new products and customer acquisition, keeping Found at bay. Novo Business Checking, Seed, and Oxygen also offer similar services.

There are also a swath of startups that offer Found’s features as unbundled solutions. But if you can capture the self-employed to your platform first, the switching cost is likely to be expensive—giving Found time to expand its services to fend off competitors.

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