How One Founder Disrupted Two Trillion Dollar Industries.
When entrepreneur Michael Nuciforo successfully sold his first startup, he knew it was only a matter of time before the startup itch would need to be scratched again. After the sale of car parking marketplace Parkhound to local rival Spacer, Mr Nuciforo had already experienced a major challenge that had piqued his interest. Having seen firsthand the burden of managing financial admin whilst running Parkhound, Mr Nuciforo was already contemplating the disruption of another trillion-dollar industry – banking – and thus the concept of Thriday was born.
Thriday has raised a total of $9 million and has developed a world-first platform that uses Artificial Intelligence to automate banking, accounting and tax for small businesses. Without Thriday, businesses today are stuck having to use a wide variety of different software tools or relying on bookkeepers or accountants to get the work done. As a result, business owners spend over 6 hours a week managing their financial admin.
The platform is unique in that Thriday automates tasks such as bank transaction categorisation, expense reconciliation, receipt management, and tax calculations to remove as much tedious financial admin as possible. Thriday is also secure, as, unlike other software, no bank feeds or data sharing is required. In addition, customers have raved about Thriday's time-saving capabilities, with some users reporting a 90 per cent time-saving compared to traditional software tools.
NAB Ventures led Thriday's recent pre-series A $6 million round, and the funds will be used to expand its team, launch new features such as automated bill payments, and grow market share. Thriday's recent raise was off the back of a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign last year, which saw the group raise $3 million in under three days on the equity crowdfunding platform Birchal. At the time, the quickest and largest crowdfunding campaign in Australian history.
Having seen success with his first startup Parkhound – which grew to 100,000 members and was the first Australian startup to reject multiple investment offers on the popular reality TV series Shark Tank – Mr Nuciforo was keen to try his hand at fixing another trillion-dollar industry.
"Whilst parking and banking on the surface might seem poles apart; they actually have a lot in common. They are both trillion-dollar industries that are ripe for disruption. With Parkhound, we saved motorists countless hours looking for parking on the street by making it available to pre-book online."
"With Thriday, we have automated all the tedious financial admin tasks that a business must do and must get right, saving business owners over 6 hours a week and allowing them to spend more time on the parts of the business they enjoy."
Mr Nuciforo believes that his desire to help small business owners was formed during his youth, "I was always extremely interested in business and fascinated by the concept of creating something from scratch. If you were to go back to the very beginning, every product we use was just an idea in someone's head."
"In my eyes, all business owners are superheroes. They get up before dawn and clock off long after the kids have gone to sleep. I always knew that financial admin was a huge frustration for business owners. I had friends and family who operated small businesses, and it was always brought up in conversations. But once I experienced it firsthand, I couldn't believe how antiquated it was. Solving it became an obsession."
Thriday was launched earlier this year, off the back of a unique 'Banking-as-a-Service' partnership between Thriday and Regional Australia Bank. With roots in regional NSW and a head office in Armidale, Regional Australia Bank has grown to be one of the premier banking alternatives to the 'Big Four' banks. The Banking-as-a-Service model implemented by Thriday allows it to issue Visa debit cards and bank accounts backed under the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS), which provides protection to depositors of up to $250,000 per account holder.
Mr Nuciforo, "Businesses today have online banking, an invoicing tool, a terminal for payments and accounting software. Not to mention a bookkeeper and accountant. It's just crazy how many products businesses are forced to use when all of this could be managed in one place. Integrating with Regional Australia Bank means that Thriday customers can access all their transaction data in real-time, in one place. All the accounting, bookkeeping and tax calculations are done using this data without the business owner having to lift a finger."
Research conducted by Thriday identified that financial admin was the most disliked activity in running a business and that business owners waste over 42 days a year, or 6 hours a week, in managing their financial affairs. In addition, businesses spend an average of $1,813 on an accountant each year, and those that also utilise a bookkeeper spend over $4,350.
Small business owner and Thriday customer Lauren Deuble was a big fan of the platform, "My business has grown rapidly over the last 12 months, and it's hard to keep an eye on everything." She added, "With Thriday, I just need to earn money and spend money, and everything happens automatically. This saves me time but also gives me peace of mind that I am doing the right thing."
Mr Nuciforo was excited about what the next 12 months have in store, "We have built an incredible product, and we are only 1 per cent into the journey of where we are going. Our customers love the product, and we are well and truly on the way to achieving our mission of eliminating financial admin for all business owners."