US-based Pilot raised $100 million in Series C funding, pushing its valuation to $1.2 billion, per its press release. The round included an investment from Jeff Bezos’ personal investment company, Bezos Expeditions. Pilot’s software and support team integrate directly with small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs’) billing, banking, expense, and payroll systems to automate back-office functions such as bookkeeping and tax prep. Pilot will use the funding to expand its product suite for the back office.
Pilot’s mega-round follows a successful year of growth.
Pilot will likely continue to see strong uptake as the pandemic goes on—and Bezos’ backing could suggest an Amazon partnership on the horizon. Three out of every 10 US small businesses say they likely won't survive 2021, highlighting their ongoing financial pressure and need for smart back-office solutions. And with its significant new funding, Pilot can better position itself to capture this need. For example, it could launch a business loan offering, akin to fellow accounting platform Quickbooks, leveraging its data on SMBs’ finances to assess their creditworthiness and ease their access to capital. Pilot will need to build its reach, though, to compete with other SMB-focused platforms. To this end, it has already entered into comarketing partnerships with the likes of American Express, Stripe, and Brex. But the Bezos investment could indicate future collaboration opportunities with Amazon, enabling Pilot to reach the etail giant’s millions of SMB clients.