ONLINE start-up Appointedd has received a six-figure investment that will allow the East Lothian firm to sell its integrated booking, management and marketing software to a wider base of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Founded by former magazine editor Leah Hutcheon, Appointedd will quickly double in size with the addition of two new developers to look after micro-sites it runs for its customers. These allow small business owners to manage the whole of their operations online using the “software as a service” model that only larger companies have generally been able to afford.
Appointedd’s tools can, for example, allow customers to book online with an SME’s website, or do the same through Facebook. Business owners can also use the software to manage staff rotas and send automated e-mail and text marketing campaigns.
“There are lots of separate tools that help small businesses succeed, but until now there has been no one package that could give a small service business all the functionality they need to run their business, all in one place,” said Hutcheon.
She came up with the idea while still working as an editor, when long hours led her to increasingly run her life through internet shopping and online restaurant reservations. She noticed, however, that this was not an option when dealing with smaller businesses such as hairdressers.
Initially developed for the health and beauty industry, Appointedd’s customer base has grown to include an array of service providers ranging from physiotherapists and PR consultants to music teachers and dog walkers.
“Our software means small businesses don’t waste time, but manage it as you would any other resource,” Hutcheon told Scotland on Sunday.
A total of £160,000 has been provided by business angel syndicate Equity Gap, Apollo Informal Investment and the Scottish Investment Bank. A graduate of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme, Appointedd received an initial £30,000 of funding from the Scottish Edge fund in February of last year.