• This Bubble isn’t Evenly Distributed – billFLO Acquired by Taulia


    Buddy and CloudCamp founder Dave Nielsen tweeted something very profound yesterday regarding this bubble that even the VCs admit we’re in. As Dave said; Sure we may have crazy money being thrown around at ridiculous startups like Color, and…

  • billFLO Bringing Services to the Little Guys


    I’ve written before about billFLO, a service that enables users to send and receive machine readable invoices straight into their accounting system. They’re announcing this morning a deal which is a great case study to show the value that…

  • Billflo Powers (Almost) Seamless Invoicing


    Back in April I reviewed the newly launched service that billFLO provides. In their own words billFLO; billFLO focuses on eliminating invoicing friction for SMBs. We work with the likes of Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Less Accounting, Harvest and Blinksale to…

  • On Investment Portfolio Transparency – My Track Record


    Rowan Simpson wrote a post detailing the track record he’s seen over the seven or so years he’s been an active investor. For those who don’t know Rowan, he’s a TradeMe alumni and, because of the sheer size TradeMe…

  • A New Approach Towards E-invoicing from Nipendo


    A few years ago I was an advise to BillFlo – a company that aimed to bring EDI kicking and screaming into the modern age. The premise behind BillFlo (later acquired by Taulia) was that organizations have a real…

  • Bill.com Helps Business Look forward with Real Time Cash Flow


    Cloud accounting vendors have long articulated a value proposition that, in part, talks of giving businesses a deep insight into their cash flow so they can make well informed plans for their short and mid-term financial future. The reality…

  • Defining a New Class of App – Business Financial Management


    The technology industry runs on three letter acronyms (TLAs) – from ERP, to CRM, from HRM to TCO we’re programmed to work in three letter chunks. While this might seem to some as mere techno babble, these acronyms do…

  • Finding A Lingua Franca – Could SimpleUBL Be the One?


    Around 18 months ago I got all excited about the OAccounts initiative that Martin Kleppman started that conceptualized a standard data format for accounting applications. As I said at the time; I see it as a fantastic idea and…

  • B2B Integration, Available to the Little Guys at Last. Acquisition, funding and bootstrapping


    Lots of interesting happenings in the B2B integration space – some funding, an acquisition and a little battle aiming to bootstrap its way to stardom. Recently IBM announced its acquisition of Sterling Commerce – Colleague Ray Wang does an, as-always, excellent job of giving a quick perspective. Some key points from Ray’s post: On May […]

  • Subscription and Billing Services – Outsource or Roll You Own?


    The next paper Krish and I are writing over at Diversity Analysis is one looking at subscription and billing services. It’s an area I’ve touched on frequently here and is a relatively busy, and increasingly complex, space. I’ve talked previously about Zuora, Vindicia, Aria systems and have spent much time in the past few days talking to other vendors.

    It seems there is a big divide between companies that decide to roll their own subscription/billing system, and those who go with a third party provider. As part of my research I’m reaching out to companies asking what they currently do for S&B services, what they’d do if the were starting again, and why.

    So as something of a crowdsourcing experiment, I’m aggregating all the responses I get here in a post. Vendors are welcome to comment below or contact me directly to discuss. Some responses thus far:

    Robert Coup – Founder of Koordinates:

    we’re not straight SAAS (more marketplace) but we did. Plan is to offload a bunch of it to @TeamXero via API though. [my response was to ask why they went down that route – Ed] There wasn’t anything really suitable. In hindsight I probably would have looked harder, dealing with things like GST is a PITA across suppliers/customers/commissions/etc

    Julian Stone, CEO of ProWorkflow:

    Yes. Built from scratch to use DPS [a local payment gateway – ed]. Only way to get what we needed.

    Ian Sweeney – CEO of billFlo:

    we did our own billing data aggregation, billing (sending invoices!) but farm out collection… time to explain our needs = the time for us to build. we have expertise. our needs will change. we want to control user exp.

    Jason Lemkin, CEO of Echosign:

    Yes because we started 4+ years ago.  We also wanted maximum flexibility in credit-card customers and ones to invoice.  Not what we would do again. [to which I asked what he’d do if we were starting again today from scratch – Ed] It’s complicated b/c I don’t think any of the services handle BOTH credit card and invoicing well.  Zuora is terrific but very focused on complex invoicing for subscriptions.  Paypal finally added recurring subscriptions to their API but you have to build it and that doesn’t help with invoicing.  They all need to integrate with BOTH Salesforce and your back-end, for us QuickBooks.  The start-ups with no funding I am not sure we’d trust.  To answer your question, we would use Zuora but it’s still only part of a solution that is more complex that it might at first appear.

    Heather Villa, CEO of IAC-EZ:
    Yes [we built our own solution] – security, dependability, wanting to minimize 3rd parties as much as possible – one less party that payment information has to pass through 🙂 (and one less party to depend on)

    Feel free to join in the conversation…

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