Bento for Business Sets Big Goals with $9 Million in Funding

Bento for Business wants to provide its customers with money management tools combined with banking solutions, similar to the personal financial management app for millennials, MoneyLion, according to company CEO Farhan Ahmad. For the task, San Francisco-based Bento raised $9 million in a new round of funding today.

The investment was led by Edison Partners, and includes MissionOG and existing investor Comcast Ventures. 

“We’ve been growing very well so far,” Ahmad told Bank Innovation. “But we need to accelerate this growth and scale faster, so we will use the funds to hire, especially focusing on our technology and marketing hires.”

Ahmad could not disclose a number, but said the company’s annual revenues had tripled so far, and customer base doubled to more than “thousands of clients.”

The new funds will also be used to add new products.

“Our core is to help businesses manage their expenses, but we want to keep solving the gaps in financial solutions that banks cannot provide,” he said. “For instance, we recently launched an API platform that our clients can use for bill payments, procurement and transactions with their vendors. Financing is on the map, and in that spirit, but we would look at that aspect from a problem solutions perspective instead of a product perspective.”

For instance, Ahmad explained, “Does it make sense to get into the business of providing long-term loans? Or would it make more sense for us to provide floater loans for our clients, which a lot of them use to buy equipment or to cushion their cash flow.”

Founded in 2013, Bento’s core products are its Bento Prepaid Commercial Mastercard and open API platform.

Last September, Bento formed a partnership with The Brinks company on its debit card. The Brink’s travel and expense debit card is issued and managed through Bento, whose platform lets companies set specific spending parameters for each employee and manage those expenses. The card is powered by Mastercard and issued by The Bancorp Bank.

Bento has a multi-bank model, which enables it to partner with various banks on different products, as opposed to an exclusive partnership with a single bank. Bento currently works with Bancorp Bank and Community Federal Savings Bank as its banking partners.

As a part of today’s investment agreement, Michael Kopelman, general partner for Edison Partners will join the Bento team.

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