This is a story of how an ambitious start-up developed an app that solves a big problem for small businesses everywhere.
It’s also a story of how other developers can create a business-management app for the largely untapped small-business market and, by listing their app on the QuickBooks App Store, increase their bottom line.
Get paid for your outstanding invoices instantly
Intuit’s complete developer toolset for building great apps, its supportive community of developers and engineers, and the massive reach of the QuickBooks ecosystem make it easy to turn a great idea into an app that can make a real difference to millions of small businesses.
Eyal Shinar, Yuval Ariav, and Tomer Michaeli founded Fundbox in early 2012 to solve a huge problem that almost every small business faces: getting paid in a timely manner.
Small businesses can wait 60 days or more to get paid after completing a client project. They may also find it hard to grow their company unless they have ready access to cash or a line of credit.
Fundbox solves that problem by advancing the money associated with a business’s outstanding invoices. In essence, Fundbox acts as a bank—minus the complicated paperwork, hassle, and long waits.
“The process for small businesses to get access to working capital is outdated and painful. QuickBooks plus Fundbox is a modern solution with a delightful customer experience,” said Jordan MacAvoy, Fundbox’s vice president of marketing.
How did the company develop its service and get it in front of potentially millions of customers?
That’s where Intuit comes in.
Ready-made: Intuit provides tools and a platform for app developers
In 2013, Fundbox partnered with Intuit to develop an app that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks Online.
By doing so, Fundbox tapped into the growing trend of businesses managing their finances and other operations in the cloud. Research shows that on average, many small business owners spend four hours a day online running their businesses.
QuickBooks customers are accessible on Apps.com
Intuit helps developers such as Fundbox by providing robust, well-documented APIs, SDKs, and a multitude of other developer tools and resources. Developers can also reach out to Intuit’s developer team and developer community via their developer forums to troubleshoot potential issues.
"We want to help them understand what makes a good app great, especially from the perspective of the first-time user," said Lori Fraleigh, Director of Developer Relations at Intuit.
Her advice: Be clear on what your app does and what value it provides. In addition, be up-front about pricing and don't ask for extra information, such as a credit card number, in the sign-up process.
“It was a very structured, well-communicated process,” said Yuval, Fundbox’s chief technology officer, of developing an app. “Intuit has gone to great lengths to make sure developers are well supported and have everything they need to be successful.”
Once developers create a useful app that integrates with QuickBooks, they can list it on Apps.com. Once there, it will be exposed to 1.5 million+ and growing QuickBooks Online subscribers.
“Year to date, we’ve seen a 51% increase in the number of QuickBooks Online users who have connected to Fundbox,” Jordan said. “We anticipate that we’ll continue to see those numbers increase as we find new and exciting ways to work together."
Marketing your app
Intuit Developer’s marketing team works closely with developers to ensure their apps get in front of small businesses that would benefit the most.
Their advice to developers: Get reviews from your customers and have an amazing onboarding experience. That could include a series of emails, a step-by-step tutorial, or an opportunity to spend 30 minutes with your team.
One big reason why the partnership between Fundbox and Intuit works is that they share the same goal, said Yotam Troim, Fundbox’s Vice President of Product.
“We share a common vision. We put our customers front and center,” he said. “Intuit has a very customer-centric and customer-focused mentality and we share that approach.”