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Materia, a Generative AI Platform for Public Accounting Firms, Launches to Address the Accounting Labor Crisis

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Materia comes out of stealth with $6.3M+ in funding led by Spark Capital

NEW YORK, June 20, 2024-- Materia, the first comprehensive generative AI platform built specifically for public accounting firms, today announced its launch with over $6.3 million in funding led by Spark Capital with participation from Haystack Ventures, Thomson Reuters Ventures, Exponential Founders Capital, and the Allen Institute for AI.

Materia was founded to improve the lives of accounting service professionals by supercharging accounting firms with intelligent technology that augments a range of time-consuming day-to-day tasks to free up time for more energizing and value-adding work.

Materia’s founders Kevin Merlini (CEO), and Lucas Adams (CTO), met while working at Facebook where they built AI systems to understand journalism content. Kevin’s motivation to start Materia was driven by the painful and tedious tasks that he personally experienced while working in the Audit practice at Big Four accounting firm KPMG earlier in his career. This ultimately led Lucas and Kevin to incubate the idea at the Allen Institute for AI during the Fall of 2022 (several months before the launch of ChatGPT).

The US is in the midst of an accountant shortage affecting both companies large and small as well as the accounting firms themselves – with 75% of CPAs retiring in the next 15 years and new CPAs joining the workforce down 33%, the impacts are beginning to appear in financial statements. The profession has historically been underserved from a technology perspective, which has held back productivity gains for those remaining workers. Recent advances in AI have now made it possible to improve workflows that were previously impossible to automate due to reliance on unstructured data, subjective/qualitative judgments, or long-tail task variability.

“Accounting firms across the US are struggling with teams wasting valuable hours on low-value, tedious tasks that can be shifted to AI-powered workflows, freeing up accounting and auditing teams to focus on the highest-risk elements of an audit,” said Kevin Merlini, CEO and co-founder at Materia. “We founded Materia to address this critical need, saving time and helping pick up the heavy lifting and tedious tasks in day-to-day workflows while keeping security and accuracy central to our product design.”

Materia’s AI platform consolidates firms' internal knowledge into a secure Knowledge Hub, creating an organized enterprise search layer that bridges engagement data silos. The Materia AI Assistant and Document Analysis Workspace leverage this Hub to deliver reliable answers based on proprietary knowledge and authoritative accounting standards. Together, these components empower Materia to accelerate tedious test work and support complex decision-making with specialized AI agents.

Materia was designed for low-friction implementation, so firms can get up and running in days without complex onboarding. Materia is SOC2 certified, and focuses on responsible AI as a core tenet, employing rigorous accuracy testing by an independent panel of CPA subject matter experts to audit AI performance. Materia also offers a consultative approach for firms that require bespoke customization or integrations.

Materia works with top national firms and is now exiting stealth. Matt Sutorius, Partner at Clark Nuber, weighed in on why Materia has been a success for the firm: “Materia has been an easy adoption for the audit practice. It’s AI that actually works and that our staff understands how to use intuitively.”

“We believe that Materia’s AI solution will transform the accounting industry, speeding up accounting professionals' routine tasks and empowering them to provide higher quality services more efficiently to their clients,” said Natalie Sandman, a General Partner at Spark Capital. “All of us at Spark are thrilled to partner with Kevin, Lucas, and the entire Materia team, who bring deep expertise in accounting and AI. The feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive and we can't wait to watch Materia become the de facto AI solution for public accounting firms.”

For more information about Materia or to sign up for a demo, visit the company’s website at

About Materia

Materia is the first comprehensive generative AI platform built specifically for public accounting firms. Materia is built on a proprietary library of authoritative accounting content, integrated with firm knowledge, and key industry software. The platform offers a suite of pre-built capabilities to improve efficiency and quality for all levels of accounting staff across a variety of workflows while keeping security and accuracy central to its platform. For more information, visit

Katie Dolan

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