The first year and beyond

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At Azlo, we want every entrepreneur to have the financial tools, network, and support they need to succeed. This vision for better business banking inspired me to co-found the company, and it continues to guide us today. As I step in to lead Azlo through the next phase of our growth, it’s remarkable to reflect on how far we’ve come. Looking forward, I’m thrilled to continue our work and help entrepreneurs, small businesses, and freelancers advance even further.

Launching, building, and growing Azlo

Azlo launched just over a year ago. Like most new businesses, we were enthusiastic and full of hustle. That hasn’t changed, but almost everything else has. Here’s a handful of the most notable things we’ve accomplished and learned over the past year.

  • We started supporting a wider range of businesses and entrepreneurs. When we launched, we could only offer accounts to sole proprietorships and small, single-owner businesses. After rebuilding our accounts and applications, we can now support a much wider range of businesses.

  • You can pay billers, mail checks, and make larger check deposits. We launched a brand-new bill pay feature that allows you to pay billers and mail checks with Azlo. We also substantially increased our mobile deposit limits and started offering unlimited mailed deposits.

  • You can connect an Azlo account with thousands of other tools. There are so many useful tools that you can use to run your business. Payment processors, accounting services, budgeting and investing services, payroll providers … I could go on. With Azlo, our goal is to make things simpler. That means allowing you to easily connect an Azlo account to most third-party services so you can get paid, manage your business, and understand the financial position of your business more easily.

We’re not looking back with rose-colored glasses, though. You know, better than anyone, that building a business can be hard and messy and everything feels harder than it looks. You start with a basic product and add more complexity, fine-tuning based on feedback and product performance. We’ve received a lot of feedback from you in the past year, and we’ve learned so much by talking with our community and learning about the problems and challenges you face every day. Armed with this knowledge, we’re ready to move into the next phase—improving what we’ve built while designing and implementing new solutions.

What’s next for Azlo

As I look back on 2018, a lot of our work has been focused on getting Azlo’s foundation in place. Looking forward through 2019, I intend to focus on two main themes: improving the basics and providing new and better features to our customers.

Improving the basics

Core banking services are the foundation of what anyone should expect from an account: the ability to get paid and send payments. One area where we’re planning to improve in 2019 is transfer speed and funds availability. Currently, transfers that push money from Azlo to another bank account take 1-3 business days, while transfers that pull money from another account take 3-4. In the near future, we’re planning to release an incremental improvement that will make transfers into Azlo up to a day quicker. We’re not planning to stop there, though—we’re working on additional infrastructure improvements and new tools that will allow us to further increase transfer speeds.

We’re also working to offer accounts that can be shared by multiple business partners. Over the past year, this is the feature our customers have requested the most. That means it’s our number-one priority too. After months of work, we’re at the point where we’re beta-testing multi-user accounts with a small group of customers. This feature is being developed in phases; with this first phase, you’ll be able to give full access to any business partner listed on your account. Expect to hear more as we further build out this capability.

Continue building new features and resources

In addition to improving core banking services, we’re going to focus on meeting the broader needs of today’s entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, especially digital entrepreneurs, are dealing with dozens of different tools every day: they might use accounting software like QuickBooks, a payment processor like Stripe, payroll software, budgeting tools … the list goes on. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs use these tools seamlessly, alongside Azlo, to easily get a complete and accurate picture of their business’s cash flow. That means we’ll be working on new integrations and exploring new partnerships.

We’re also working on new tools that will make it easier for entrepreneurs to stay on top of all the tasks that go into managing their business finances. As a business owner, especially when you’re just starting out, there’s so much to learn. Running a business can mean new tax laws, forms, responsibilities, and deadlines. It means budgeting, and forecasting, and analysis. We know that there’s a lot we can do to simplify and streamline this work, so that you can focus squarely on running your business.

Remembering why we got started

As I look forward to leading Azlo through the coming year and beyond, I’m also reflecting on the decisions and experiences that led me here.

My passion is using digital financial tools to unlock opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world. In the past, I’ve done this work by creating new forms of banking for diverse communities, from farmers in Zimbabwe to business owners in Haiti. With new technologies, many of the restrictions and limits of financial structures no longer apply; we have the opportunity to re-craft financial tools to benefit everyone who was not part of the old system.

I co-founded Azlo because digital platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Stripe, PayPal, and Upwork have created opportunities for a new generation of entrepreneurs. These platforms have made it possible for thousands of people to start a business and pursue their passions, yet the banking industry hasn’t kept up. Azlo is here to fill this gap by offering banking that’s built just for you and designed to work seamlessly alongside your digital business.

Building Azlo has been incredibly rewarding because I’ve been able to do the work that I’m most passionate about while helping other entrepreneurs pursue their passion. I’m looking forward to everything we’ll create together.


Admin

Hi there! This post exists to offer you (hopefully) useful information but it cannot take the place of personalized professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert if you have questions about your business. Also, Azlo doesn’t endorse any third-party sites that are linked here.

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