An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Pat Morrell (co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer) of Anduin, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Anduin – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
We started Anduin with the express mission of unlocking time and money for knowledge workers. Our co-founding team had all either witnessed or experienced first-hand a range of frustrating and costly inefficiencies in the back-office of professional services firms. We knew there were expensive and wide-ranging issues there, and we believed we could create value by solving those problems. The first solutions we built on our Intelligence-Based Billing platform specifically targeted the work-to-cash cycle at accounting firms. We focused here because our early customers (CEOs and CFOs of leading CPA firms) told us that their billing, collections, and payments processes were the greatest sources of pain and loss for their firms. We wanted to tackle these big, hard accounts’ receivable problems because that’s where the value was then, and is still today. And with the ROI we’re delivering for our customers, we have an exciting runway to grow quickly. And you can see it for yourself by joining me in a demo (shameless plug, but had to do it).
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
To start, we needed to find the “connective tissue” of pain that was shared across firms. And once we confirmed that universal pain could be found in firms’ work-to-cash cycle, we were able to move to the next hurdle: building a pragmatic and valuable solution that also integrated with existing firm infrastructure. The challenge there was that many of those systems were 20+ year old on-premise deployments, so our engineering team had to build a powerful and dynamic suite of integrations. Fortunately, our CTO and his crew are absolute A-players, so they cracked the code on integrations with their “translation engine”, and we overcame that hurdle. Now, we’re facing the hurdle that every high-growth company wants – scaling our team and platform to support the massive wave of demand we’re seeing from customers. We’re well-equipped to support the demand, and we’re growing quickly as a result.
What does the future hold for Anduin?
The sky’s the limit for Anduin because we’re able to quickly deliver a sustainable ROI, and we’ve also keyed in on a bigger-picture theme.
One of the benefits of operating in the work-to-cash cycle is that we can see the precise financial impact that our platform has on speeding up cash flow and reducing outdated and unpaid bills. And our recent case studies with some of our early customers (Windham Brannon, BRC, BGW) are testaments to that value.
Bigger-picture, the professional services landscape is getting more and more competitive, and firms are staring down a number of intense strategic imperatives. They need to: cut costs and optimize operations, speed up and smooth out cash flow, keep and attract new talent, and gain greater insights on firm performance.
To do all of that, firms are realizing they need to focus on freeing up their historical and ongoing data. This will allow them to fuel new reporting or better decision-making, to power best-in-class system integrations, and to deliver tailored, digital experiences for clients. And because Anduin’s modular platform is inherently designed to unlock data for open analysis, third-party app integrations, and personalized client experiences, and because we use AI to make our platform smarter over time, we think we’re uniquely positioned to become a go-to solutions provider.
Our customers are already asking us to expand our platform beyond just the work-to-cash cycle and we announced some major initiatives along with our capital raise back in July.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Charlotte?
It’s pragmatic, ROI-focused, and flourishing. There’s a long history of successful tech entrepreneurship in the Charlotte area. Most recently, look at the massive growth of companies like Passport, and successful exits for founders and teams at companies like Skookum (now Method). I was fortunate to be part of a success story in 2019 when a healthtech company I co-founded, Digitize.AI, was acquired. What I think we’ll see more and more is a kind of virtuous, compounding cycle where successful founders become repeat-founders by continually diving back into new ventures and (hopefully!) repeating their success. Concurrently, I think we’ll see early-stage employees who hone their skills and gain confidence and liquidity alongside those repeat-founders can spin-out to work as first-time founders themselves. In Charlotte, there’s no shortage of consumers hungry for new tech and no shortage of companies who need their problems solved, so this city is a great jumping off point for new companies and entrepreneurs.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
First, network relentlessly. If you haven’t already, try to work for a founder so you can learn through the ups/downs first-hand (just cold-email the person and tell them you’ll solve their biggest problem – all founders are looking for problem-solvers). Lastly, focus on traditionally unexciting and behind-the-scenes business problems, and then solve them as simply as possible: that’s where the money and value are!