Matan Bar is the co-founder and CEO of Melio – an accounts payable solution which provides small businesses with digital payments tools to better manage their supplier payments, minimizing time and cost while maximizing cash flow. Efma's Boris Plantier asked him about Melio and their future plans.
What led to the creation of Melio?
While leading Paypal’s Consumer Peer-to-Peer Payments Group, I realized that one link in the payments process was underserved. While many small businesses allowed customers to pay with the tap of a card, once they finished their day they went into the back office to fill out paper checks by hand to pay their suppliers. It seemed absurd that small business owners could rely on smooth, intuitive solutions like the ones we created at Paypal to serve customers, but that no-one had created a similar solution for their back offices.
Before trying to build a solution, my founding team and I realized that we needed to get under the skin of these small businesses - many of whom are mom and pop stores who do all the accounting work themselves. We set up a bookkeeping service in New York and worked with ten local businesses for a period of three months, without any online presence and using just WhatsApp and iMessage. We realized that automation is not the main concern for small businesses, it is cash flow. Automation is nice to have, but it is not strong enough to motivate businesses to shift from something they’re used to to something new. Instead, they wanted something simple, flexible and easy to use - making a payment to a supplier as easy as venmoing your friend.
Could you present Melio’s offer?
Melio was set up to bring the quality and experience of B2C payments tools to small businesses, providing them with more control and ease of use for their vendor payments which minimizes time and cost. This is a typically underserved market because companies of this size (1 - 50 employees) are often overlooked by large financial institutions but we see them as the backbone of the economy.
As small businesses navigate the fallout from Covid-19, we’ve found that this type of support is more important than ever before. At a time when small businesses need the most flexibility, they have the least. We are helping business pay suppliers in a timely manner, helping buyers keep cash longer, and suppliers receive money faster. We're also helping businesses make payments remotely as picking up a check is not that trivial anymore.
What’s coming next for Melio?
We are incredibly excited to have such an impressive range of investors backing the company. To be able to draw on the expertise of companies like Accel, Bessemer Ventures, and Coatue will be priceless in helping to set the path to long-term success.
Our fundraising will allow us to further accelerate growth and reach even more customers. In addition, it will empower us to provide our B2B payments capabilities to third parties - just as B2C payments providers have done. We have already partnered with Intuit Quickbooks, one of the leading fintech platforms for small businesses, to power one of their billpay solutions.