In January of 2014, Onewheel started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its one-wheeled motorized skateboard design. Bento for Business was formed at about the same time, and the two have grown together. Bento’s solutions provide expense management for startups like Onewheel, as well as for more established companies.
“Bento is fast, and it allows us to make quick financial decisions when we need to, whether that’s creating a card for a new employee or a new project,” says Kyle Doerksen, Founder, CEO of Future Motion Inc., the makers of Onewheel. “A corporate credit card with a bank has a long turnaround time—Bento provides immediate access to our up-to-date funds, and that helps our business’s cash flow.”
Onewheel uses Bento for Business in two ways. First, it uses debit cards to manage employee purchases. Second, it issues a single debit card to track spending on projects. Bento’s expense management solutions for startups and small businesses have been essential for Onewheel’s continued expansion.
Managing Live Events
Onewheel puts on a lot of live events to demonstrate its products, teach users new skills, and to promote riding in general. The employees who work on these events are generally young, energetic, and skilled on their Onewheels. What they don’t necessarily have are credit cards or the ability to front their employer $500.
“Bento allows people to do the work they need to do for the company they’re working for, without bringing personal finances into it,” Doerksen says. “Before Bento, we were just doing traditional employee reimbursements for business costs they fronted.”
The event staffers are incredibly enthusiastic about Onewheel and its users, so the company doesn’t want to give them credit cards where they could go nuts and take everyone out for drinks—although that might help build goodwill for the brand, it could wreck the budget. Bento for Business’s card controls prevent employees from spending in categories or amounts where they do not have permission.
Research and Development
Research and development often falls outside of a traditional chart of accounts. There’s a budget for R&D, of course, but it’s not easy to say ahead of time how that money will be spent. That’s kind of the point! Onewheel is constantly working on new products, features, and accessories to get more people to use its skateboards, and expense management is an important part of those efforts.
“One of the core areas we use Bento for is project management, as it provides us with up-to-date accounting on a specific project,” Doerksen says. “By creating a new Bento card for each project, we can track in real-time the exact spend on it, without having to wait for next month’s financials from the accounting department to come in.”
Floating on Onewheel, Spending with Bento
Onewheel helps people get around quickly while having fun outside. Its business is very different from Bento’s—or is it?
“Bento helps us move faster and be more strategic with our day-to-day business decisions,” Doerksen says. “Rather than requiring purchasing approvals over a minor expense, it lets us empower our employees to buy what they need, when they need it, to do their work.”
Whether you’re looking for expense management for your startup or for a decades-old family business, Bento can help you, too.