Autobooks raises $5.5 million to help banks serve small businesses

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Autobooks, a startup that offers payment and accounting software for online banking platforms, has raised a $5.5 million Series A round of financing, it announced Monday.

The fintech firm is aiming to fill a void in the marketplace by providing tools that banks can offer to small-business customers. Consumer personal finance tools tend to be inadequate in serving these businesses' needs, but commercial products are too complex for a small enterprise.

The suite of tools Autobooks offers help small businesses manage payables, receivables, accounting and other functions with relative ease. By integrating the software into their online banking systems, financial institutions are able to offer clients an enhanced digital experience while gaining insights to their customers’ needs.

A Barlow Research study cited in Autobooks' press release found that 70% of small businesses would use a cash-flow management tool if their financial institution offered it. This desire has not gone unnoticed by banks.

"Banks and credit unions are looking for differentiated product offerings that not only deliver value for their members but create new revenue streams and lending opportunities,” Autobooks CEO Steve Robert said in the press release.

The company is running pilot programs with five financial institutions, with another 10 planned for this year, Robert said in an email.

The new funding, which closed last week, will allow the Troy, Mich., company to expand its operations, improve its product and refine its sales, distribution and marketing.

The Series A round was led by Draper Triangle, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage startups in the Midwest. It follows $2 million in self-financed seed funding.

American Banker named Autobooks one of 20 fintech companies to watch in 2016.

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