The co-founder of travel search engine Skyscanner has backed a £595,000 fundraising by Edinburgh-based bookings app Appointedd.
Skyscanner chief executive Gareth Williams said he was “excited” to be involved in the next stage of growth at the start-up, founded by Leah Hutcheon.
He added: “The software has the potential to be the leader in a huge market and I look forward to watching their international expansion.”
The funding deal, led by angel syndicate Equity Gap, is aimed at helping Appointedd increase its headcount and target new markets overseas.
Along with Williams, investors in the firm’s latest cash injection include Marie Macklin, founder of Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
It comes after Appointedd was selected to feature in a “one-stop shop” of business services being rolled out by the former owner of Clydesdale Bank.
The app – which enables the owners of small firms to manage their business online – is one of 12 chosen for the new cloud-based platform from National Australia Bank in a deal that will see its software being offered to 700,000 small firms across Australia.
Hutcheon said: “It has been fantastic to get such a positive reaction from investors at this round. We have felt extremely honoured to attract investment from the founder of one of Scotland’s unicorn companies and experienced entrepreneurs like Marie Macklin.
“We look forward to using their expertise to help expand our software globally. We are already seeing some amazing traction, and it’s exciting to be working with partners like National Australia Bank. We’re particularly looking forward to growing our team as we have another global player to be announced soon.”
Earlier this 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 Investing Women’s AccelerateHER event at the angel group’s first Ambition & Growth Conference in Edinburgh.
Equity Gap director Fraser Lusty said: “We have particularly been impressed with the technical product enhancements and the strategic alliances formed which will open up volume markets in the US, Europe and Australasia.” The firm has also been supported by Entrepreneurial Spark, the start-up accelerator programme co-founded by Jim Duffy, who said: “Securing such a huge investment from key figures in the business community is a great achievement and demonstrates how successful Appointedd’s business model has been and its potential for use across the globe.
“We’ve worked with Leah since she joined the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator, where she has carefully and steadily grown her business with a strong network of support. We teach entrepreneurs to work on their mindsets and behaviours to become credible, backable and investable – all three of which Leah has achieved.”