Bench is the largest online bookkeeping service in North America. This five-year-old, design-focused tech company offers a combination of custom-built software and professional online bookkeepers to organize the financials of small businesses. Bench employs 250 brilliant humans (and a few dogs) at its HQ in Vancouver, BC. Bench has raised $33 million in funding since its launch in 2012.
At age 18, Ian Crosby became a bookkeeper for a videogame company after simply knocking on the door and asking for a job. The first spark went off when he realized how ridiculous it was that such an important job was given to a kid with no experience. He realized why. No one else wanted to do it. It was time-consuming. It was tedious.
After learning how to automate some of the repeatable tasks, Ian knew he was onto something.
Teaming up with close friend, Jordan Menashy, the two focused on how they could solve the problem of bookkeeping on a large scale for small business owners.
The solution was a combination of custom-built software and professional online bookkeepers to organize the financials of small businesses using a unique automation process. Bench (or as they called it at the time, 10sheet) was born.
Adam Saint, product designer and childhood friend of Ian's, caught wind of what the pair were up to. Twenty-four hours after reconnecting, Adam signed on as Co-Founder. With the team and prototype in place they were accepted into startup accelerator Techstars NYC.
Upon arrival in New York, the three finally met their CTO and fourth Co-Founder Pavel Rodionov who had just relocated from Siberia, Russia, to join the project.
By July 2013 they had raised $2 million in seed capital, launched to the general public, and settled on the official name, Bench.
In January of 2015, Bench raised a $7 Million Series A, followed by a $16 Million Series B in May of 2016.
Ian Crosby, Co-Founder & CEO@ianwcrosby “There’s no such thing as boring industries, just boring companies.”
The 30-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Bench was a university student by age 16. He has worked as a bookkeeper and a treasurer at various companies and was the first management consultant at Bain & Company to be recruited from the West Coast, before launching Bench. He’s passionate about steering education more towards technology and doesn’t shy away from discussing the future of banking.
Ian has appeared on a few 30-Under-30 lists, topping the prestigious 2016 Forbes’ Top 30-Under-30 list, in the Enterprise Technology category. He and his wife currently reside in Vancouver with their three-year-old daughter, Ella and newborn son, Miles.
Life at Bench
Bench strives to support people in living their best lives. It’s a key concept behind both the services they provide and the way Benchmates work together. To this end, they put their collective thoughts to paper, and created two resources that truly reflect Bench-life, and the core values that guide them.
Why the name Bench?
The name Bench was appealing both for its metaphor and historic connection to finance. In renaissance Italy, where modern banking practices emerged, banking would be conducted in open air markets from the banca. Banca being italian for Bench, and the root word for bank.