On this episode Of Scaling Up, March Capital managing partner, Jamie Montgomery and Forbes futurist Rich Karlgaard talk to Bill.com’s founder and CEO, René Lacerte. Bill.com is a fast-growing cloud software company that sells automated payment services for small and medium sized businesses. When we interviewed Lacerte, BILL was worth $8 billion in market cap; today it is $9.12 billion. We talked about fast growth leadership, mentorship secrets, and how Lacerte’s father was a pianist for the late Gram Parsons, even though Lacerte’s father was missing four fingers.

Click below for video.

MORE FROM FORBESPersonal Growth Needs To Be Every CEO’s Top Priority, Says Bill.com’s Rene Lacerte

The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Rich Karlgaard:  René, what was your original mission, how was it progressed, and the fundamental question – why is what you do important to your customers?

René Lacerte:  We think of ourselves as champions for small and medium-sized businesses to help them automate the financial processes that around paying and getting paid. If you think about payables and receivables, people do not expect this number to be true but it is. Ninety percent of businesses still rely on paper to manage their processes and make their payments. If paper is a primary form of making the payment, it ends up being fairly inefficient, error-prone, and lots of challenges. It ends up being a mess. For us, I wanted to focus on solving that mess. I wanted to take care of that pain point and really make a difference for a small and mid-sized businesses. There are six million employers in the U.S. – that is the target market. We have 98,000 businesses today that are on our platform. They use us to interact with two and a half million network members

Top CEOs have doled out nearly $2.5 million to fill the reelection coffers of President Trump and other Republican candidates, donating nearly five times as much to pro-Trump super PACs and the Republican National Committee as to Democratic opponent Joe Biden.

KAMALA HARRIS CHEERS WALL STREET SUPPORT AS BIG-MONEY DONORS LINE UP FOR BIDEN

The money comes from 15 top executives from the S&P 500. The top donor is Jeffrey Sprecher of Intercontinental Exchange, whose wife, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, is battling to keep her seat in Congress. Sprecher spent over $1.2 million, giving to GOP PACS America First Action, Trump Victory and Donald J. Trump for President, according to a data analysis by Market Watch.

Another top donor is Sheldon Adelson, head of Las Vegas Sands and a longtime Republican cash contributor. Adelson shelled out $586,200 in donations supporting Trump.

Other notable CEOs supporting the president include Safra Catz of Oracle, Jayson Adair of Copart, former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan and William Hornbuckle of MGM Resorts International.

Meanwhile, Biden drummed up support from double the number of CEOs but raked in significantly less than Trump.

TRUMP PREPARING $1.8T CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE, URGES CONGRESS TO ‘GO BIG’

In all, top execs from Disney, Merck, Nielsen Holdings, Nike, Netflix and more contributed $536,100 to Biden’s campaign committee, the Democratic National Committee, or pro-Biden super PACs.

Many of the companies defended their CEOs’ contributions, describing them as “personal decisions” by company executives, Market Watch reported.

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timeline: S&P 500 chief executives have combined to give more money to Trump’s campaign than Biden’s, even as the Democratic challenger has more S&P CEOs as donors.


S&P 500 chief executives have combined to give more money to Trump’s campaign than Biden’s, even as the Democratic challenger has more S&P CEOs as donors.

As the Nov. 3 election sparks record campaign contributions, the CEOs of S&P 500 companies are helping to fund the war chests of President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden, while also contributing to other Republican and Democratic politicians.

In their political giving as individuals, these chief executives have combined to give more to Trump than Biden. Some 15 CEOs whose companies are components of the S&P 500 (SPX) have donated a total of $2.489 million to Trump’s principal campaign committee, its joint fundraising groups with the Republican National Committee or pro-Trump super PACs.

Meanwhile, 30 chief execs have contributed $536,100 to Biden’s main campaign committee, its joint groups with the Democratic National Committee or pro-Biden super PACs. These figures come from a MarketWatch analysis of processed Federal Election Commission data on individual contributions made between January 2019 and August 2020. Anyone who held the CEO job in 2019 or 2020 at a company that was part of the S&P 500 is included.

As shown in the table below, the S&P CEOs giving the most to Trump were Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) Jeffrey Sprecher, whose wife, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, faces a tough Senate race, and Las Vegas Sands’s (LVS) Sheldon Adelson, a longtime major GOP donor. Also ranking high in dollar amounts donated were Vornado Realty Trust’s (VNO) Steven Roth and Oracle’s (ORCL) Safra Catz.

S&P 500 CEOs giving their own money to Trump’s campaign

CEO Company Amount Recipient Sector
1. Jeffrey Sprecher Intercontinental Exchange $1,000,000.00 America First Action Financials
Jeffrey Sprecher Intercontinental Exchange $290,300.00 Trump Victory Financials
Jeffrey Sprecher Intercontinental Exchange $5,600.00 Donald J. Trump for President Financials
2.

  • We asked five CEOs, at companies including Skillshare and Hired, why they decided to get rid of their office space.
  • The CEOs said their employees want greater flexibility — and there are better ways to spend money than on rent.
  • Some companies are ramping up hiring or giving employees stipends to set up their home offices.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rent is expensive. And potentially unnecessary.

Since March, offices around the world have been eerily silent, as the folks who normally fill them have been isolating from the coronavirus at home. Many employers have responded by cutting their real-estate costs.

A Reuters analysis of quarterly earnings calls during a week in July found that more than 25 large companies intend to downsize their office space in the coming year. Business Insider’s Daniel Geiger reported that a growing number of employers — including Macy’s and Yelp — are subleasing their office space.

Some businesses have decided to pull the plug, trading office space for cyberspace for the foreseeable future. For companies that have been hit hard by the recession, it’s an obvious place to reduce spending — especially if employees have been just as effective out of their boss’ sight.

Business Insider spoke to five CEOs in a range of industries who opted to ditch their offices during the pandemic. We asked them how they arrived at this decision, where they’re saving money, and what kinds of challenges they’ve run into. All these companies have fewer than 200 employees, so the transition to remote work might be easier for them than for large corporations.

Read on for the executives’ insights.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired

mehul patel hired

Mehul Patel is the CEO of Hired.

Courtesy of Hired


What the company does: Matches

Seedrs CEO Jeff Kelisky (L) and Crowdcube CEO Darren Westlake. Photo: Seedrs/Crowdcube/Yahoo Finance UK
Seedrs CEO Jeff Kelisky (L) and Crowdcube CEO Darren Westlake. Photo: Seedrs/Crowdcube/Yahoo Finance UK

The chief executives of Britain’s two biggest crowdfunding businesses say their planned combination will allow them to supercharge growth and it’s not about weathering the COVID-19 crisis.

Darren Westlake, the chief executive of Crowdcube, and Jeff Kelisky, his counterpart at Seedrs, told Yahoo Finance UK their planned merger was geared towards expansion, rather than cost cutting.

“The purpose of the merger is growth,” Kelisky told Yahoo Finance UK on Monday. “It’s not harvesting, it’s not consolidation. It’s absolutely about the growth opportunity that we feel is untapped.”

Crowdcube and Seedrs announced plans for an all stock merger on Monday, hoping to create a combined business worth around £140m ($181.8m).

READ MORE: Crowdfunding platforms Crowdcube and Seedrs to merge

The deal brings together the UK’s two biggest equity crowdfunding platforms, which between them have helped hundreds of British startups raise over £2bn.

“We’ve got a lot more in common that we have got differences,” Westlake told Yahoo Finance UK.

‘Stay on the front foot’

The deal was hailed by many in the fintech sector as an obvious combination. But some raised questions about whether it was a shotgun wedding, given financial conditions. Crowdcube and Seedrs lost £7.2m between them last year and activity on Seedrs’ platform dropped 20% in the early stages of the pandemic.

Seedrs’ annual results, published on Tuesday, show auditors flagged the business may need to raise money to keep going, particularly given the impact of COVID-19.

“They have to do something,” said Michael Jackson, an experienced tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist who is now a director of businesses including Axa UK and Volvo.

Both Westlake and Kelisky rejected this picture, insisting they are in fine fettle.

“The question behind the financials relates to: