Online bookings start-up Appointedd has been selected to attend a technology conference next month in Las Vegas, where the firm hopes to secure $750,000 (£501,000) to help set up a base in the US.
The move comes after the Edinburgh-based company launched a new scheduling tool designed to help its customers arrange appointments regardless of which time zone they are in.
We’d be looking for in the region of $750,000Leah Hutcheon
Chief executive Leah Hutcheon, who founded the business in 2011, said: “We’re thrilled to have cracked the missing link in creating a truly independent workforce by making it easier to connect wherever you are.”
She added: “Despite all the converter tools available, time zones are notoriously hard. How we do business internationally has changed, and it’s about time our technology caught up.”
Appointedd last year secured £160,000 from business angel syndicate Equity Gap, Apollo Informal Investment and the Scottish Investment Bank, and Hutcheon said the firm would be pitching to US investors at the Collision conference, which kicks off in Las Vegas on 5 May.
She told The Scotsman: “We’d be looking for in the region of $750,000 to allow us to make a real impact in the States and with some of the key businesses in Las Vegas. The community there is really ripe for this kind of functionality around time zones, and it’s an important travel hub.
“We’ve been talking to some start-ups in Vegas about potentially partnering with them to power online bookings through their businesses.”
The Nevada city, best known for its casinos and nightlife, is becoming an increasingly important centre for fledgling technology companies thanks to the ongoing regeneration of its downtown area, Hutcheon said. The revamp is being helped by $350 million of personal investment from Tony Hsieh, chief executive of online fashion retailer Zappos, which is owned by Amazon.
As well as being invited to exhibit at the Collision event, Appointedd will be attending the Interop technology conference also being held in the city next month.
Hutcheon said: “The interest has come from the time zone functionality we’ve launched, because they’re much more used to having to deal with this problem in the US. We’ve only just started to push it but we’re getting some really exciting interest from people who are in the States and doing a lot of travelling, but also people who do a lot of work over the internet. We’re seeing a rise in the number of life coaches and therapists who do consultations over Skype.”
If the firm succeeds in its fundraising target, Hutcheon – who will be jetting out with business development manager Owen O’Leary – said the proceeds would be used to open an office in Las Vegas, from where it hopes to push forward with its international expansion.
“At the moment we’re five people in an office at the top of Leith Walk so this would be a great change for us,” said Hutcheon, a former magazine editor.
“We would hire people on the ground in Vegas if the investment was to come off. Las Vegas is becoming more of a technology hub there are a lot of start-ups that would previously have been in San Francisco and what’s going on over there is really exciting. “We’d all be delighted if we came back from Vegas with some American investment to start our expansion over there.”