Why we founded Ledge

Tal Kirschenbaum
//
February 6, 2023
Article

Tal Kirschenbaum

Tal Kirschenbaum is CEO and co-founder of Ledge, a finance & treasury operations platform for finance teams operating at scale. Tal is an experienced finance operator, with a career that spans BCG, Facebook, and payments giant Melio.

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For fast-growing SaaS companies, platforms, and marketplaces, digital payments are their lifeblood, enabling rapid growth and success. 

But as they scale, finance teams often become victims of their own company’s success, working as “human glue” to hold together a complex payments stack of payment processors, banks, ERPs, databases, and more.

Success slows you down, just as the rest of the business ramps up. You’re constantly fighting fires and feeling like the bigger the business gets, the less control you have.

That’s because the payment stack has never been so fragmented or complicated.

  • 68% of finance teams report that fragmented data caused by a lack of communication between payment processors, banks, ERPs, and databases is their largest impediment to closing the books
  • Finance teams spend 40% of their time processing transactions instead of devoting time to strategic initiatives
  • 64% of finance teams report that manual processes are their largest financial close challenge

I saw this firsthand while working at Melio, a B2B payments company that went through tremendous growth and started handling an enormous volume of transactions every day. These transactions had to be attributed and reconciled, payment errors had to be identified and then resolved to minimize losses, and an accurate, broad understanding of the company’s finance had to be developed. This required dozens of people in different functions across the company working tirelessly to manually stitch together data from different sources.

After speaking with dozens of companies, I quickly discovered that it’s not just a problem that fintech companies that actually move money face – all businesses handling a high volume of payments confront this challenge. 

Melio had the expertise and resources to develop its own proprietary in-house solution to tame this chaos and manage their core finance operations, but the vast majority of companies I spoke with were not in the same position. 

Building your own finance operations solution is an enormous endeavor – engineering is one of the scarcest and most expensive resources in a company, and payments are incredibly complicated and require a deep level of understanding that often only payments companies have. In essence, you’re building an entirely separate product that needs ongoing maintenance and attention for what is effectively a back-office finance problem.

That means that for the vast majority of companies, the burden falls on finance teams to manually grapple with this overwhelming volume of payments and transactions – generally through spreadsheets. 

Excel is powerful, but it can’t support finance teams operating at scale that need to manually compile massive amounts of data from multiple sources and ensure they aren’t experiencing any kind of losses.

We saw an enormous need for a solution for finance professionals, built by finance professionals, that would empower them to better manage their day-to-day tasks like reconciliation, ledgering, and monitoring and alerting, while also giving them strategic insights to enhance decision making and boost their bottom line.

That’s what led us to found Ledge – we believe that finance teams should be empowered, productive, and strategic contributors to business growth, not bogged down in manual work. 

Ledge is designed to maximize visibility, automate operations, and tame cash management and payments chaos – no engineering required:

  • Automate multi-way payment reconciliation no matter how complex your payment flows
  • Easily manage cash, savings, and credit balances across banks with one view
  • Get real-time monitoring and alerts so you can handle issues right when they happen
  • Launch in minutes or hours, not weeks or months

We are very excited to partner with our amazing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Vertex Ventures Israel, Picus Capital, and FJ Labs, who are supporting us in this journey.

Our strategic investors include founders from fintech giants that have experienced this pain themselves. I’m grateful for their vote of confidence in our mission to solve complex payments, help cash management, and give control back to finance teams operating at scale.

Can’t wait to share what’s next!

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We're on a mission to automate and simplify finance operations for teams working at scale.

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