How Pilot Helps Vertoe Confidently Operate in 16 International Markets

With Sid Khattri, CEO

Meet CEO Sid Khattri and his company, Vertoe

As an entrepreneur and former Googler, Sid has a knack for spotting opportunities. The idea for Vertoe started during a nightmarish vacation.

After checking out of his LA Airbnb, he and his partner had a full day of activities planned before their flights in the evening. But there was one thing weighing them down: their luggage.

“We literally spent nine hours trying to figure out where to keep these three bags,” Sid recalls. “There were zero options. It was mind-boggling. It was officially the worst vacation day in my life.”

After returning home to NYC—minds fully boggled—they researched luggage storage spaces and realized, “We’re onto something.”

Vertoe’s growth to 16 markets and 600+ merchants

Today, Vertoe is the leading on-demand short-term storage provider. They help people store their bags anywhere from a few hours to a few days by connecting them with local shops that have the space.

Growth has been steady and strong. Sid and his cofounders started Vertoe in 2016, were accepted into TechStars in 2018, and received $3.8 million in VC funding along the way. Now their team is 17 people strong, they’ve stored over 300,000 items, and are present in 16 markets with 600 merchants.

As you can imagine, having a global footprint can pose some major bookkeeping challenges.

“Bookkeeping was the most frustrating part of my role as CEO. For real.”

In Vertoe’s earlier days, Sid managed his own books. He then hired an accountant once a year to do a massive clean-up and file taxes.

But, according to Sid, “there were many, many challenges” with this setup:

A serious waste of time
For one, doing his own books was time consuming and took tons of manual effort: one to two full days every month. As he shares, “When executives are focusing on bookkeeping—hooking up systems and making sure every line item is recorded correctly—it’s a waste of our valuable time.”

Taxes were taxing
Plus, without balancing the books each month, tax season easily turns into a time-sucking monster. Sid explains,

“Tax season was a two-week sprint of non-stop freaking out to check if our books were recorded correctly. Plus, it was a ton of back-and-forth with our tax preparers as they went through each line item.”

Constant worrying
Not only was bookkeeping “the most frustrating part of my role as CEO,” he shares:

“I was worried if our books were tight, if tax filings were on time, and if there were lingering mistakes. It was excruciatingly painful.”

Tired of the hours and stress, Sid knew it was time to find experts and upgrade Vertoe’s books.

Why Sid chose Pilot: Startup-focused, human-powered

Sid and his co-founder looked at many options—from local CPA firms to online bookkeeping services like Bench. Pilot stood out of the pack for a few reasons:

  • Seamless integrations: Vertoe uses Stripe Connect as their marketplace for payments and expenses. Most platforms, including Bench, didn’t work with Stripe. But Pilot integrated seamlessly.
  • Personal, expert support: Sid loved Pilot’s human component. Unlike most self-service software, “Pilot has a personal advisor who builds an extra layer of customization on top of the automation.”
  • Tech-minded: A startup themselves, Pilot understands tech financials. Sid appreciated the automation and startup focus that Pilot brings to the table.

How Pilot built Vertoe’s bookkeeping engine for scale

Migrating Vertoe’s books to Pilot was seamless. As Sid shares:

Pilot was thorough and efficient. We weren’t expected to plug in everything on our own and hope it worked. It was so nice to have our personal advisor lead the whole process and come to us when they had questions.

Though seamless for Sid, Pilot did some serious clean-up on Vertoe’s books to create the right financial engine. That included:

Syncing with Vertoe’s full finance stack
Today, Vertoe’s books are fully-automated and customized for their unique financial setup. Pilot seamlessly integrates with all of Vertoe’s accounts, including Stripe Connect, Brex, Silicon Valley Bank, Square, and JustWorks payroll.

Shifting to consistent accrual-based accounting
According to Sid, their previous bookkeeping system was a little “hodge-podge.” Pilot reviewed their books, and found Vertoe was reporting revenue as accrual-basis and costs as cash-basis, which wasn’t correct.

So, “Pilot migrated our full books to accrual-basis and ensured we recorded revenue and spend consistently. They made our books more sophisticated,” Sid shares.

Building books that support international business
When Vertoe wanted to move into European markets, their bookkeeping practices had to be adjusted as well. As Sid describes:

“Pilot has so much knowledge and expertise. They had calls with us to understand our roadmap, and built a complex bookkeeping system to support multiple international currencies and regulations.”

Getting on-demand service and support
Sid loves the human, personal component of Pilot’s offering.

I love that we can always reach out about any bookkeeping or tax question. Having a person to talk to—who is dedicated to your business, understands the history of your books, and knows how your business is evolving –is extremely valuable.

Vertoe today: Hours saved, sanity rescued, and ready to scale

What are the biggest benefits of Vertoe using Pilot? According to Sid, there are many:

  • Saves time and sanity: Sid gets his life back as CEO. As he shares, “Pilot saves so much time and stress for our team. We’ve completely offloaded our bookkeeping headaches.”
  • Tax time is easy-peasy: Before Pilot, tax season took a full two weeks to double-check the books and prepare. But now, everything is ready to go, saving weeks of Sid’s time.
  • Books built for scale: With the right books in place, Vertoe can expand to new markets compliantly, without being blind-sided by unforeseen regulations. “Pilot has helped ensure our bookkeeping systems are of the highest quality, in-line with the right accounting principles, and built to scale quickly,” Sid explains.
  • Easily update investors: Maintaining a transparent relationship with investors is crucial. Pilot helps founders build trust with professionally-maintained books that are easy to share. “Updating investors is so seamless and stress-free now,” Sid says. “It literally takes me seconds to export Quickbooks and share with them, and I know everything is in tip-top shape.”
  • Financials you can trust: Better books means clearer financials—and that helps business leaders make more confident moves. As Sid shares, “Pilot helps me make business decisions every day. Pilot upgraded our books, which feeds into our financials, modeling, and planning.”
Pilot is amazing! Our experience from day one until now has been awesome every moment,” Sid says. “They’ve streamlined everything and helped us confidently move into new markets. Pilot is a true partner.

Inspired by a founder’s experience on vacation, Vertoe offers short-term luggage rentals to travelers worldwide. They help people store their bags anywhere from a few hours to a few days by connecting them with local shops that have the space, allowing travelers to enjoy their visits without worrying about their luggage.

Life before pilot
  • Founders did their own books manually
  • Books took hours each month and two-weeks each tax season
  • Constant stress about accuracy of books and tax filings
  • Had complex accounting needs, without a sophisticated system
Life with pilot
  • Founders save weeks of productivity
  • Tax preparation takes minutes, not weeks
  • Books are built for scale and can handle 16 markets with different currencies and regulations
  • On-demand expert support when they need it

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