SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 11, 2015) - Bento for Business (www.bentoforbusiness.com), a technology company democratizing expensive and bulky big business financial solutions for small businesses, announced today that it has closed a $2.5M seed round of financing led by Anthemis Group. Other participants in the round include Blumberg Capital, LionBird and Pivot Investment Partners.
The company will apply the funds primarily towards corporate infrastructure and product development. Bento will launch the first in a series of small business financial services technology solutions in early March.
Unlike traditional banks, which typically strip down large-company offerings for small business clients, Bento's platform combines advanced features and security with an intuitive interface that makes it simple and affordable for small business owners to manage their companies and employee spending. Bento's suite of solutions will provide the security and functionality of a bank with the usability and intuitive interface of a modern tech company.
Bento's CEO and co-founder is Farhan Ahmad, a longtime financial services industry veteran who's held executive-level positions at institutions such as Barclays, Discover, and JPMorgan Chase as well as other startups.
"Most financial institutions simply don't have the offerings to meet the real needs of today's small business owner," said Ahmad. "Instead, they end up force-fitting small business customers into either big business or consumer offerings. Cash, checks or gift cards do nothing to stop expense 'leaks' or give owners more control and credit cards can have a negative effect on a small business owner's personal credit. Big corporations have always had better options but at a high administrative and financial cost that put them out of reach for smaller businesses. Our vision for Bento is to offer small businesses a mix of financial services technology -- ranging from employee expense management to invoicing and bookkeeping to loans -- and let them choose and customize the services that are right for them, much like a bento box."
"We look for strong entrepreneurs who possess a great sense of what the market needs not just now, but down the road -- as well as someone who has a solid track record of success," said Nadeem Shaikh, Founder and Managing Director, Anthemis Group. "We've found exactly that combination with Bento for Business and Farhan Ahmad. We're happy to be on board and are looking forward to the company's success."
"We're thrilled that we were able to secure funding -- and support -- from this stellar group of industry experts," said Ahmad. "The funds they've invested will allow us to focus on building out both our team and our product suite, while their belief in our vision and their connections in the market will also play a big role in ensuring Bento hits the ground running."
For more information or to speak with Bento about its upcoming product launches, go to www.bentoforbusiness.com.
About Anthemis Group
Anthemis Group is the leading digital financial services investment and advisory firm focused on re-inventing financial services for the 21st century. We are distributed, networked and emergent; an approach we believe is optimally aligned with the economic, cultural and competitive environment of the Information Age. We work with a diverse group of customers and partners -- from start-ups and venture capital firms to corporates, financial institutions and private equity firms -- catalysing and accelerating positive and disruptive change across the financial industry.
About Blumberg Capital
Blumberg Capital is a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs with transformative ideas. Blumberg operates as an extension of the entrepreneurs' network and enables passionate founders to disrupt markets through innovation and build successful companies. For more information, visit http://www.blumbergcapital.com.
LionBird is an early-stage fund investing in promising startups that utilize technology to meaningfully improve offline processes in healthcare, commerce, and enterprise. The LionBird management team combines the experience of Fortune 100 senior executives with that of veteran entrepreneurs to provide its portfolio companies with the guidance and support required to scale early-stage startups into leading global corporations. For more information, visit http://www.lionbird.com.
About Pivot Investment Partners
Pivot Investment Partners LLC is a team of CEO-level operating executives who have grown and transformed financial services businesses around the world. They work closely with a select set of high-potential financial services and FinTech companies, investing both operating expertise and capital in their success and accelerated growth. For more information, visit http://www.pivotinvestment.com
Bento for Business provides the security and functionality of a bank with the usability and intuitive interface of a modern technology company. Bento modernizes, simplifies and consolidates complex financial solutions, giving small businesses capabilities previously available only to big businesses. Bento was co-founded in 2014 by Farhan Ahmad, former Managing Director at Barclays, and Global Head of Emerging Payments at Discover Card, and Sean Anderson, former Senior Director of Emerging Products at Blackhawk Network. Bento for Business is a VC-backed firm based in San Francisco. Learn more at www.bentoforbusiness.com.