Bench is a four-year-old, design focused tech company that offers a combination of custom-built software and professional online bookkeepers to organize the financials of small businesses. The company employs 220 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 boring. It was labourious.
After learning how to automate some of the menial 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 answer was a unique combination of technology and human service delivered by actual bookkeepers. 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.
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.
The four-way partnership was tested and solidified when they agreed to live together in a small, open-concept apartment, as they worked towards getting their first investment. By July 2013 they had raised $2 million in seed capital, launched to the general public, and settled on the official name, Bench.
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.
Life at Bench
We strive to support people in living their best lives. It’s a key concept behind both the services we provide and the way Benchmates work together. To this end, we put our collective thoughts to paper, and created two resources that truly reflect Bench-life, and the core values that guide us.
Ian CrosbyCo-Founder & CEO “I might be deluded, but I like to think that in 10 years people will think of accounting as something that is sexy.”
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 a management consultant at Bain & Company 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, most recently topping the prestigious 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.
Jordan MenashyCo-Founder & VP, Marketing “In the pursuit of profit, commerce should be wielded as a tool to make the world beautiful.”
Jordan, the 33-year-old Co-Founder and VP of Marketing, is the passion and energy behind Bench. Jordan has planned several large-scale music events, managed a promotions company, and worked for the smartphone pioneer, Blackberry. He has a Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.
Jordan believes that research and development are the most important aspects of good business; rarely saying no to an idea his team presents. He resides in Vancouver, drinks too much coffee, and always has the office dog, Zoe DesKennel, in tow.
Adam SaintCo-Founder & Design Consultant “As humans we owe it to each other to do the best work we can imagine in our field, because that's our most powerful method to serve the world and the people in it.”
The 31-year-old Co-Founder and Design Consultant at Bench came to design by way of a love affair with the web in the 90's. Distracted by the internet, Adam proceeded to skip a couple of grades in high school to indulge his true stripes as a generalist and independent student (and play entirely too many video games).
After finishing film school, he started honing his craft at the world-renowned design agency, MetaLab. And when he says design he means the intentional ordering of any system for the benefit of people. These are lofty words, but he means them, firmly standing by the responsibility that design and business have to uphold compassion, dignity, and human flourishing.