How Mike McDerment grew FreshBooks


Manage episode 285064458 series 165139
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Sometimes, a big mistake can trigger a big idea. In 2003, Mike McDerment was running a small web design agency when he accidentally saved over an old invoice. Frustrated and looking for a better way to bill clients, he decided to build the better way himself. The solution he came up with would become the foundation for FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting software for freelancers and service-business owners, which is now the #2 small business accounting software in America, with around 500 employees and customers in more than 100 countries. In true startup fashion, Mike ran FreshBooks out of his parents’ basement for the first 3 ½ years. His mother was even an early investor, securing a line of credit for the co-founders since they couldn’t get a loan themselves. In 2014, after a decade of incremental growth, FreshBooks raised $30 million in venture capital funding. A second round in 2017 raised another $43 million, fueling the company’s growth and dominance in the booming self-employed and small business market. Mike shares how he made the tough decision to pursue VC funding, the innovative approach they took to replatforming, how his role has evolved over time and what he’s doing to keep his entrepreneurial chops fresh. *** If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than a minute and helps us continue to attract the entrepreneurs you want to hear and learn from. For show notes, past guests and transcripts, visit Sign up for the Venture Voice email newsletter at Follow and connect on social: On Twitter: On Instagram: On YouTube: On LinkedIn: Learn more about Muck Rack at and The Shorty Awards at

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