Detroit Fintech Startup Autobooks Closes $5.5M Series A Round

Autobooks, the Detroit-based startup spun out of Billhighway in 2015, has closed on a $5.5 million Series A funding round. The investment was led by Pittsburgh-based Draper Triangle, with participation from CU Solutions Group, Baird Capital, Detroit Venture Partners, and Invest Michigan.

Autobooks’s software is designed to be integrated with online banking platforms to serve small businesses, which CEO Steve Robert says can often be overlooked by larger financial institutions. The businesses Autobooks targets are left in a bind where they’re too small to catch the full attention of big banks, and too complex for simple consumer tools, he says.

Autobooks, he explains, has created a set of digital tools to automatically handle a range of accounting tasks, including collecting payments owed to a business and disbursing money a business owes to others. The company licenses its software to banks and credit unions, and they in turn make the technology available to their small-business customers.

“From customer management to sending invoices, Autobooks brings it all under one roof and helps small businesses get paid faster,” Robert says.

Autobooks sprang from Troy, MI-based Billhighway, a financial technology company serving large enterprise customers. The founding team successfully grew that business—it now processes billions of dollars annually for millions of users—before turning its attention to smaller markets. Eventually, Billhighway’s “intrapreneurial” project became a stand-alone startup.

Since then, Autobooks has grown steadily. In November, it snagged the $100,000 first-runner-up prize at Accelerate Michigan, the state’s largest startup competition. A month before that, American Banker named it one of 20 fintech startups to watch. Robert says his company currently has nine employees, and he expects that number to nearly triple over the next year.

In 2017, the company plans to officially relocate from Troy to downtown Detroit. Autobooks will also use its new capital to build recognition in the small business community and seek new financial institutions to partner with, Robert says.

Detroit/Ann Arbor Xconomist Henry Balanon recently came on board at Autobooks after a stint at Stratos, a mobile wallet startup based in Ann Arbor, MI. He will serve as the company’s chief product officer.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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