Former strip engineer raises $4M for Beam, a fintech startup to help contractors get paid faster.

Beam, a five-month-old startup that aims to help general contractors pay more easily and pay themselves, has raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Accel.

Both the startup’s founder and lead investor previously worked at payments giant Stripe for years. Before starting Radiation In October 2022 Adam Eagle He spent five and a half years as a software engineer at a fintech company core APIs and infrastructure for Stripe billing, invoicing, commerce and payments. Amy SaperInvestor leader in the round It helped Build and grow Stripe’s product marketing team before joining Accel as a partner in 2019.

Saper worked with Eagle as his product marketing counterpart while building Stripe’s billing and invoicing product, seeing its technical potential firsthand. So when the company started to raise funds, Asel stepped up to lead the increase that was closed earlier this year.

To (literally) build builders

A common observation in the construction industry is that most contractors are required to complete projects before they are paid, often out of pocket for materials and labor. For small businesses, not having enough cash coming in can be stressful, and the process of keeping track of who owes what with spreadsheets and sometimes paper checks can be time-consuming and tedious.

San Francisco-based Beam is focused on giving small and mid-sized general residential contractors a way to “manage” time—and ultimately money—payments, invoices, and receipts in one place. It also facilitates ACH payments directly to the app. It takes contractors “minutes” to board the Beam and once they arrive It can begin sending payments immediately, Eagle said.

Moving from payment to construction technology may seem like a big change, but it was inevitable for Eagle. Before he started coding, Eagle said he had always been “extremely interested” in architecture and housing.

After years of seeing headlines about the housing crisis and our aging infrastructure, I decided that I wanted to work in building homes, infrastructure, and the physical world. “Many of them are driven solely by the desire to improve the quality of life and the quality of our city.”

Examining the scene, Eagle concluded that construction businesses have “really tough” financial jobs. He also found that many such businesses are SMEs, or small, family-run firms with few employees and few resources. As a result, owners either have to spend more time manually processing invoices and payments or spend the money. To hire a bookkeeper or office manager.

“When you start thinking about the financial situation of these construction businesses, you realize that they are in very difficult situations – often they are waiting to get paid from the client or they have to pay a lot of money to subcontractors,” Eagle said. Or if you’re a subcontractor, you have to pay a lot of money for materials and you have to pay your wages in advance and then you don’t get paid for 30 or 60 or 90 days after you do the labor.

To help keep costs down for contractors, Beam says it charges businesses lower fees than PayPal or Zelle, and also capitalizes on transaction volume.

“That’s one reason many construction businesses still use paper checks,” Eagle said. Because with every payment, the payment networks are losing anywhere from $15 to hundreds of dollars in high fees.

Realizing that a good percentage of his customers are native Spanish speakers, Beam built the first version of the product. To include a Spanish environment for non-native speakers.

Image Credits: Beam/Beam’s five-person team

Glitter Another example of fintech focused on the construction industry. Eagle Beam believes that what sets Brick apart is its focus on building tools for large enterprises to automate their billing processes.

Longer term, Beam aims to simplify payments for enterprise businesses as well.

Sousa Ventures and Wishoff Ventures participated in the seed funding in addition to a group of angel investors that included founders and executives of several large and mid-sized fintech and construction businesses.

They contributed to the lack of housing for this population, a problem that Ace’s Saper like Beam was trying to address.

“IIt’s hard to build,” she wrote in a blog post. “As deep investors in fintech-related companies (including Unite, Braintree, and Venmo), we’ve seen innovations in payments and receipts impact many other industries. But the construction related invoice is yet to be renewed.

Beam, Saper added, solves this problem with an “easy-to-use billing and compliance platform” that brings together “different parties to seamlessly and quickly authorize payments across the Beam network.”

“Longer term, Beam will add more financial services to the platform,” she said.

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