Chicago’s Startup Paro, a Provider of On-Demand Financial Expertise, Secures $25M via Series B

Paro has announced a $25 million Series B funding round. The rapidly-growing startup offers businesses with flexible finance solutions through teams of remote finance professionals in order to help them address problems and support their ongoing growth.

Paro, a Chicago-based startup “disrupting” the way firms access “on-demand” financial expertise, confirms that their $25 million Series B investment round was led by Madrona Venture Group, along with contributions from existing investors: Revolution Ventures, Sierra Ventures and KGC Capital.

The proceeds from Paro’s round will be channeled towards fueling company growth locally while  positioning it for future global expansion, as well as “propel Paro’s investments in its AI–powered professional services marketplace.”

As noted by the company:

“Amid a year of financial disruption and workplace shifts, companies have increasingly recognized the benefits of finding flexible, non-traditional solutions for common business needs. Leveraging the power of AI, Paro matches companies with highly specialized freelance finance talent, including CFOs, controllers, accountants and more, who have been pre-vetted to ensure every client receives access to deeply experienced professionals who are the best fit to solve their specific financial needs.”

In parallel, Paro leverages artificial intelligence to provide these finance professionals the relevant tools and key insights they require to implement their own businesses and “enhance their professional success.”

Paro reports that it has managed to double since Q3 2020, and during the past year, around 20% of Paro freelancers or 1 in 5 of them have billed $100K to $500K via the Fintech firm’s platform. Multiple freelancers are now on track to bill over $500K via Paro this year.

Anita Samojednik, Paro CEO, told Crowdfund Insider:

“2020 was a unique moment in the evolution of work, showing that even the most complex finance projects, such as ERP implementation, fundraising or M&A support, can be effectively executed in a remote work environment. The power of our model lies in our ability to help companies address specific challenges by using technology to pair them with top-tier talent who have highly specialized skill sets. With this fundraise, we will continue to innovate and disrupt the traditional employment model to help companies and experts alike drive their businesses forward.”

Hope Cochran, Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group, remarked:

“As a former CFO, I believe strongly that the office of the CFO is undergoing a digital transformation that is driven by technology innovation paired with experienced financial professionals. Paro enables businesses of all sizes to get access to this valuable human-based expertise through its intelligent marketplace, which immediately matches experts with specialized skills. The trajectory over the last nine months is dramatic, and we are excited to dig in and help the Paro team build.”

As part of the financing, Cochran will be joining the Paro board of directors, the announcement noted.

In September 2019, Paro had finalized its Series A investment for $10 million, which was reportedly led by Mark Fernandes of Sierra Ventures.

Paro aims to offer “flexible” finance and accounting solutions to businesses through its network of “highly vetted” freelance workers. Through its AI-enhanced platform, Paro aims to precisely match clients with “the best-fit experts to solve problems and drive growth.”

The firm’s “curated” expert community offers a wide range of financial services to clients, from basic bookkeeping and accounting to “highly specialized” corporate development and strategic advisory.

As explained by Paro:

“By freeing these professionals from the constraints of traditional employment, Paro empowers them to pursue meaningful work on their own terms while helping clients achieve their business goals.”

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