Butternut Box is one of the scaleups people keep talking about these days.
They deliver healthy dog food to customers' doors every day, and they do it well. In fact, they’ve secured a total of $113M in funding and are one of the fastest-growing startups in the UK.
We spoke with Ed Barret, part of a 10-person finance team (which grew from 6 just a year ago) to understand the challenges they’ve managed to overcome to successfully scale not just finance, but the business itself.
“Since we started with Cledara, we now have the ability to track everything, set out the different cards and actually know who we're paying and for how much. And that’s something that was very hard to do before.”
As with other successful startups, the software stack at Butternut Box started outpacing the growth of the business. And as Ed tells us the team finance really felt first-hand:
“It was getting overwhelming to reconcile all the payments that were going out every month”, Ed says.
“As we signed up to more and more subscriptions every single day, I was constantly having people coming to me asking if they could have a company card to sign up for this and that.”
How Cledara helped
All the payments are now reconciled automatically and Ed’s team has a record of where the money is going on a day-to-day basis.
Not only that, Cledara’s integration to Xero imports all the bank statements and invoices, which Ed finds “wonderful and really effective”. “With other software, it's a lot more manual, a lot slower, which introduces problems when trying to get tasks done at the end of the month”.
Ed’s team didn’t have a way to see all the subscriptions the business owned, who was actually using them, or if they were really worth paying for in the first place. “I don't think we were getting the maximum efficiency out of the subscriptions we had. Coming to the end of the month and realizing we’d overspent - that wasn’t ideal.”
“In fact, the world before Cledara was a very manual, very labor-intensive process of sorting out who was paying what and how many total subscriptions we had”, Ed says.
How Cledara helped
Ed tells us that once they set up Cledara and saw all their spend in one central place, they were “very surprised with how much certain teams were spending” which they hadn’t realized beforehand.
“The ability to separate subscriptions by team allows us to see which teams are spending the most.” And having a separate virtual card for each subscription “helps me instantly spot when we’ve gone over or under budget.”
“And if you add to that the notifications scheme, which is super helpful, you end up with a really good tool that really brought the visibility we needed.”
SaaS subscriptions are great to use, but can cause a lot of admin friction between teams, as Ed describes.
“Back in the day, it was difficult to communicate with the teams that were using the subscriptions, getting the invoices from them or trying to understand what they were using even in the first place,” Ed says.
“In fact, the only info we had was buried in bank transactions and I wouldn't know who had paid for what.” Not ideal.
We asked Ed for the things that differentiate Cledara the most from other software tools, and he didn’t hesitate: User experience.
“Being in finance, I've used quite a lot of software. I can tell Cledara is very easy to sign up for, get started with and start using. The user experience is very clean and the product is super easy to use.”