HoneyBook, a financial and business management platform for creative solopreneurs and freelancers, has hit $1 billion in payments volume through its platform.
Small business owners wear many hats. For creative types, the last thing they want to fuss with is invoicing and payments. HoneyBook has made inroads into communities of graphic designers and photographers to help them with everything from capturing leads and delivering proposals to sending invoices and accepting payments.
HoneyBook offers its members the ability to manage the entire lead cycle online. Service providers sell their time and that time is limited. HoneyBook looks to accelerate cycle times. There’s a lead, proposal, negotiation, and agreement signed via the firm’s digital platform. Then, members can generate an invoice and receive payment for their work.
“We are able to quicken the time from lead to money in bank,” said Oz Alon, co-founder and CEO of HoneyBook. “We got it down to a week and we’re trying to get down to a couple of days. If we can give our members some of their time back, there’s nothing more valuable.”
HoneyBook’s members use the digital platform to power around 80 percent of their payments, according to Alon.
“Our members transact almost their entire business online — they don’t accept checks or cash anymore,” he said. “Our members also sign contracts and proposals using HoneyBook., so we have a lot of visibility of the money flowing through our pipes. We see their three and six month pipelines.”
This level of trust and visibility hasn’t been lost on banks. Citi Ventures lead HoneyBook’s $28 million investment round announced this week. And as part of the tie-up, HoneyBook intends to work with Citi to develop new financial products designed to help the platform’s members.
“When we talk with our members, we hear their pains,” said Alon. “We see a lot of cashflow pains — things that financial products can address.”
Alon wouldn’t disclose exactly what types of financial products HoneyBook plans to collaborate with Citi on. In any case, the tech firm would look to lead the product design of financial products destined for its members and work with Citi on the back end to underwrite and manage the products and services, like invoice factoring, bank accounts, and loans.
HoneyBook leverages its community of solopreneurs and SMBs to redefine the relationship these professionals have with their financial providers.
“The way millennials consume financial products has changed dramatically,” said Alon. “No one goes to the bank. Our members don’t remember the name of people who work at their bank, but they know HoneyBook’s concierge Amelia by name.”
Ultimately, the upstart is trying to build a community of similar-minded professionals who rely on the company to power the commercial side of their businesses. Through this dependence and trust on the platform, interesting interactions arise from members, creating collaborative moments.
Recently, a man posted a question to the community. He had just found out his wife was pregnant and he had a project to complete around her due date.
“He hadn’t told his family, yet– his mother didn’t even know.,” said Alon.
“When he asked the community what he should do, someone offered to cover for him.”