Appointedd – the Edinburgh bookings app firm backed by investors including Skyscanner’s co-founder Gareth Williams – has struck a “game-changing” deal with a US group which it believes could be worth more than £20 million over the next three years.
California-based Alliance Business Centers Network (ABCN), which operates more than 650 serviced offices around the world, will tomorrow start using Appointedd’s system for its virtual receptionists to book meetings for clients.
Under the agreement, ABCN will also begin marketing the Scottish start-up’s product to its 500,000 clients. Appointedd founder Leah Hutcheon said the deal was a huge breakthrough for the firm.
“It is a game-changer not just in financial terms as our biggest ever deal, but it also represents us really breaking into the global market,” she said.
Hutcheon said that the company’s internal forecasts are putting the value of the deal at between £15m-£20m in additional revenues over the next three years, although she believes the potential could be much higher given the scale of ABCN’s customer base.
Hutcheon said the ability of the firm’s system to handle multiple time zones was a key factor in clinching the deal, which she began negotiating late last year.
“That is a very important factor in markets like the US and was something that other systems they looked at couldn’t offer.”
Appointedd currently employs 12 staff, but Hutcheon said it was actively look to expand on the back of the ABCN deal.
“We will see what happens in terms of activity over the next few weeks and then see where we need to add to the team.”
Hutcheon said the firm was in negotiations over a number of other deals which she was hopeful of announcing in the coming weeks.
Appointedd was set up to improve the way small businesses handle appointments online. Initially aimed at the health and beauty sector, it has now been adopted across multiple sectors, and as well as the online booking of timeslots, it offers small businesses access to marketing and business management tools.
In May this year, Appointedd raised £595,000 in a fund-raising backed by investors including Skyscanner’s Williams. The funding deal, led by angel syndicate Equity Gap, was aimed at helping Appointedd to increase its headcount and target new markets overseas.
Along with Williams, investors in the cash injection include Marie Macklin, founder of Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. Earlier in the year, Appointedd won an £18,000 pitching competition organised by Scotland’s only female angel investment group. The firm was selected from more than 100 entrants in the Investing Women’s AccelerateHER event at the angel group’s first Ambition & Growth Conference in Edinburgh.
The firm has also been supported by Entrepreneurial Spark, the start-up accelerator programme co-founded by Jim Duffy. In March, Appointedd was chosen to feature in a “one-stop shop” of business services being rolled out by the National Australia Bank (NAB).