Blog Article

Seed Round Announcement

Alex Lee




Sep 13, 2023

AI. Accounting. Finance. And our Seed round

Finance and accounting teams are still struggling with data entry errors and slow month end close. We raised money to help. 

tl;dr: While new technology solutions are built for sales, marketing, and HR functions, finance continues to be left behind. At Truewind, we’re working to bring finance and accounting professionals to the modern era with an AI copilot. 

Our $3M Seed round – led by Fin Capital and Y Combinator, along with Fellows Fund, Scrum Ventures, Beat Ventures, Soma Capital, SV Tech Ventures, and Hike Ventures – is about enhancing accountants and financial analysts. 

Where we’re coming from

In episode 112 of the All-In Podcast, on the topic of AI, Chamath Palihapitiya said: 

"Somebody should do it in accounting. Somebody should learn all of GAAP accounting, which is pretty simple because it’s published - FASB - all of these nonsensical accounting rules. And give you 100% guarantee of no malfeasance."

Makes you wonder. How come accounting isn’t automated yet. Isn’t accounting just a bunch of rules? Haven’t we had the technology to automate rules ever since Brendan Eich invented JavaScript in 1995? 

And yet, 23 years later in 2023, accounting remains an unsolved problem. The process is slow, error prone, and quite frankly, confusing. Few people aside from your controller or financial analysis truly understands the intricacies of an income statement or balance sheet. Why haven’t we solved the problem of accounting? Isn’t it just a bunch of rules and numbers? 

Going from Numbers to Business Context

It’s because accounting isn’t a set of rules; there is room for judgment and interpretation. It isn’t just a bunch of numbers, you need business context. Let’s take this simple example:

  • You work at a venture capital firm and you buy a cup to be used in the office. That expense is classified as [General & Administrative: Office Expense]

  • I work at your neighborhood Blue Bottle Coffee. I buy that same cup with the intention of reselling it. That expense is classified as [Cost of Goods Sold]

  • Both company’s purchased the same cup from the same vendor with a bank transaction memo of [#12-Hasami-Natural-Mug] but there are two distinct outcomes. 

Remember your high school Algebra class? We need one more variable to solve this question. That variable being: What does a Venture Capital firm do? What does a Blue Bottle Coffee shop do? What is the purpose of this purchase? This information is stored in natural language. And we haven’t had the technology to capture this data at scale until now. 

Truewind: AI Copilot for Accountants & Financial Analysts

It gets a little overused these days–Copilot for X–but it’s the best way to describe what we’re doing. We’re building a Copilot for accountants and financial analysts, an AI assistant so powerful that you’ll become a 10x better strategic partner. The role of finance isn’t to penny pinch, it’s to be a partner to their business unit counterparts. AI can automate some tasks and as the tech gets better, it can do more and more but it's always about amplifying humans.

We use LLMs to capture the business context that accountants and financial analysts need to tell the story behind the numbers. As we wrote above, finance and accounting isn’t simply numbers, it requires business context that only the operators have. This is where LLMs shine. We use GPT to digest natural language inputs, translate it into accounting journal entries, and learn from it so future journal entries can be automated.

To accomplish this, we have two principles that guide our design thinking:

1. Be flexible to the tools our customers use

You shouldn’t have to change your tooling for us. Truewind is the AI analyst that lives between the data and the tools you use.

2. Apply AI in the natural flow of processes, not another natural language interface

In generative AI, it’s not the model that’s differentiating, it’s the application. There are many ChatGPT + visualization solutions for various verticals. The problem with these is, the user has to figure out what to write in the prompt. 

We have to tackle the application / workflow, i.e. figuring out the right questions to ask vs. leaving that for the user. Truewind is push oriented; we tell you how to interact with Truewind AI. In time, you will naturally ask Truewind AI the right question.

We raised some money to do this

This is, afterall, a fundraising blog post, so let’s get to it. 

Truewind was founded in November 2022, on the heels of ChatGPT. We went through Y Combinator in the Winter 23 batch, signed over 20 customers during the batch, and shipped the first version of our product. 

Following YC, we raised $3M for our seed round. This new round of funding gives us the room to move even faster. Our investors don’t just say “let me know how i can be helpful,” our investors actually are. 

  • Y Combinator gives us the best community for founders. 

  • Fin Capital is a fintech leader and helps us navigate the field. 

  • Scrum Ventures is innovating with us on a new business model. 

  • Fellows Fund put us on stage at the Gen AI Summit hosted by Zoom & Hubspot. 

  • Beat Ventures is our go-to sounding board partner. 

We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with them. 

Come build with us

I know you didn’t ask but I like sharing the meaning behind the name Truewind. In Merriam-Webster, the definition of true wind is

true:/wind/: 1. relative to a fixed point, an observation which is not affected by motion of the observer

It’s a sailing term. When you’re sailing on a boat, the wind speed you’re measuring is relative to the speed of the boat. But the true wind can only be measured from a stationary point, which is the role of accounting and finance. To be that objective 3rd party observer, reading the true wind speed and being that strategic partner to best navigate the treacherous waters. 

We’ve assembled a team that we’re really proud of, but to tackle the many challenges ahead, we need your help. We have a roadmap full of big ideas and little details, and we’d love your help bringing them to life. 

If you love technology and have a fascination with finance as we do, check out our open roles and get in touch. 

Alex Lee

About the Author

Alex is the Co-founder and CEO of Truewind. He's a 2x startup founder, both companies backed by Y Combinator. He started his career as an aerospace engineer at Boeing. He got his MBA at Columbia and BS in Aerospace Engineering at USC.