$10million to accelerate Karbon’s journey to cloud-native practice management

Stuart McLeodCo-Founder, Karbon
Stuart's headshot. He's wearing a white collared shirt, has graying hair, and the background is a blurry green and brown tree.

Capital-efficient businesses are not trendy. When you read TechCrunch or PitchBook regularly, you get the impression that startup life is very straightforward—the more you burn the more you grow. And for good measure, you put machine learning, AI and cybersecurity in your pitch deck.

But at Karbon, we are treading our own path. And growing at 100% year-on-year is a path we have become very comfortable with. In fact, we've doubled in the last nine months, our NPS is accelerating, our payback periods are low, and our net retention figures are world-class. 

For all of those reasons, we really weren’t looking for funding. But when inbound interest from investors increased dramatically at the end of last year, we decided to take advantage and secure a great partner for the next stage of our journey.

Joe Onofrio and the team at Five Elms got behind our goal of building a capital-efficient, effective, impactful business that creates value for our customers, employees and shareholders. Partnering with a firm that focuses entirely on B2B vertical SaaS businesses fits us perfectly, and it’s been great getting to know Joe over the last few months.

The biggest benefactor of this fresh $10m in the bank is our customers and those in the accounting industry looking to escape from the traditional vendors. Those who provide fake cloud and screen-scraping technologies over outdated software will find themselves sidelined by accountants who deserve and crave better.

Currently at 46 employees, Karbon will increase to a team of about 75 this year and continue to expand the geographies we service. All the while keeping our capital loss low and ensuring that our culture grows and develops in a positive way.

Ultimately, this is the next stage of Karbon’s evolution towards fully-fledged practice management.

Our goal is to provide the non-stop journey for an accounting firm of any size to go from prospect and lead to proposal, onboarding, scheduling, capacity planning, budgeting, time collection and capture, write-on/write-off, invoice presentment and payment. Everything you need to run your accounting firm.

The opportunity to provide this across the globe in a cloud-native, easy-to-use, thoughtful platform is huge. We can’t wait for the next stage of the journey.

Stuart McLeod
Co-Founder, Karbon

Stuart started his first business 13 years ago and has had many successful ventures, including Paycycle, founded in 2009, which he sold to Xero in 2011. He then built the global Xero Payroll team that delivers payroll software across the US, AU, UK and NZ markets. In 2015, Stuart co-founded Karbon, and served as CEO until 2023. He remains an advisor, board member, and investor.

Stuart's headshot. He's wearing a white collared shirt, has graying hair, and the background is a blurry green and brown tree.

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