In an increasingly digital world, the idea of filling out paper forms as individuals is cumbersome and anachronistic. For major institutions this issue is exponentially bigger, in fact the cost of processing paperwork is an estimated $1 trillion a year, according to startup Anvil.
The San Francisco paperwork automation startup has just raised $5 million from top VCs including Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI investment arm, and Citi Ventures. Anvil, founded in 2018, was also funded by existing investors Menlo Ventures, Financial Venture Studio and 122 West.
“We started the fundraising in January and had good traction in February and March then lockdown happened,” Mang-Git Ng, Anvil’s CEO and cofounder told Business Insider in an interview. “Existing investors were asking ‘is the deal still going’ when other companies saw term sheets pulled, but all previous investors joined with Gradient leading the round still and no change in terms.”
Anvil had met all investors bar Citi Ventures prior to shelter-in-place regulations coming into force with remaining negotiations taking place entirely over video chat before the round closed in mid-April. Anvil offers a “low-code” automation platform which helps to eradicate the inefficiencies of repeated paper use.
At the same time, Anvil’s platform was used by Minneapolis-based Sunrise Banks to deploy its digital application process for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Anvil was able to help Sunrise apply $127 million PPP forgivable loans in just five days for 1,600 small businesses before the new funding hit the startup’s account.
“We looked at the government’s PPP forms to see how we could fit it to Anvil which was appreciated by Sunrise Bank, because most other offerings are inflexible,” Ng added. “We went from our first meeting to signed document in two days over video chat with the bank.”
Anvil will use the funds to continue expanding its business having already made a new hire to its five person team with more employees set to join although former Dropbox engineer Ng admits “it’s hard to hire and onboard people remotely.”
Check out the pitch deck Anvil used to raise the funding below: