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London Tech Week

From Revolut roots to $15M funding: Ukrainian founder’s fintech startup streamlining SMB invoice payments

Apron founder
Picture credits: Apron

According to reports, the average small business owner in the UK spends approximately five hours per week on invoice payments, contributing to a staggering £1.5 trillion annual transaction volume in the UK alone.

Apron, based in London and known for its innovative fintech platform that significantly reduces the invoice processing time for small businesses, recently secured $15 million in Series A funding. The funding round was spearheaded by Index Ventures, renowned for supporting startups like Causaly, Worldover, and Sylvera. Further, Bessemer Venture Partners and Visionaries Club also participated in this funding round.

With this new capital injection, Apron plans to grow its existing team of 20 professionals, featuring talent from prominent companies such as Meta, Revolut, Square, and Yandex. Remarkably, this funding also arrives shortly after Apron’s recent unveilings in the fintech sphere – Apron Hub and Apron Snap accounts.

Apron – How does it work?

According to the company press release, the signup process for Apron is swift, taking just three minutes, after which users can effortlessly manage their invoices. Invoices smoothly transition from accounting software to Apron or can be forwarded via email. Notably, Apron facilitates the simultaneous payment of multiple suppliers across 150+ countries and in 30+ currencies, ensuring fair exchange rates with no concealed fees. The platform simplifies the approval process by presenting payments and authorisations side by side, streamlining the approval and modification procedures. 

Founded in 2021 by Revolut product leader Bogdan Uzbekov, a Ukrainian native, Apron operates on a distinctive approach that aims to transform the payment flow across a user network by placing user needs at the core of their product design. Their platform, instead of replacing existing accounting software, it seamlessly integrates into established workflows, connecting with prevalent business and accounting software. This integration drastically reduces time-consuming tasks from hours to mere minutes.

“What providers forget is that the people behind businesses are, well, people – and they want the same quality they’re familiar with in their consumer apps,” said Bogdan Uzbekov, founder and CEO of Apron. “Apron puts itself in the position of all these users – accountants, business owners and suppliers – and instead of trying to solve business payments from just one perspective, we create a town square where they can all come together to move money as smoothly as possible. We want to flip payments from being a blocker to being a booster: something that can be done quickly, securely and even give you a sense of joy and satisfaction.”

Jan Hammer, the Index partner who joined the Apron board, said: “The needs of SMBs have been ignored for too long. Bogdan’s team have realised that if you build an amazing product, it will spread organically and at speed among small businesses and accountants. Apron have not just built a technically exceptional back-end payments platform: combined with their unique focus on the product experience for end-users, they have the potential to redefine how people pay invoices everywhere.”

Dani Reid and Agnes Potter, friends and founders of the neighbourhood cafe Potter & Reid in Spitalfields, London, were one of Apron’s first customers. “To a lot of small business owners, accounting is the last thing we’re thinking about,” they say. “We’re thinking about increasing sales to become profitable and striving for this every day. Apron saves time and money, which helps you focus on the bigger picture.”

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