FreeAgent £1m crowdfunding to drive ‘re-invention’

EDINBURGH-based FreeAgent is furthering its drive to “re-invent” small business accounting with an ambitious £1 million crowdfunding campaign.

Ed Molyneux wants to take accounting out of backwater. Picture: Helen Pugh
Ed Molyneux wants to take accounting out of backwater. Picture: Helen Pugh

The company – which provides cloud-based services to micro-businesses and freelancers – has today launched its first-ever crowdfunding round with Seedrs, the European investment platform based out of London. The money will be used for product development and marketing.

Set up in 2007, FreeAgent lets customers access their financial information over the internet using both mobile and web-based applications. This allows them to maintain their business accounts, log expenses, create invoices and forecast their tax bills.

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The crowdfunding campaign comes after last month’s $5m (£3.2m) debt finance agreement between FreeAgent and SaaS Capital. Ed Molyneux, chief executive and co-founder of Free-Agent, said the firm is looking to transform accounting from the “under-served backwater of the software industry”.

“FreeAgent is already empowering many thousands of people to take control of their business finances and to view accounting as an integral, straightforward part of their working life, rather than something to be feared,” he said.

“So who better to help us achieve our vision of ‘democratising accounting’ than our customers? We chose crowdfunding because we want to make it straightforward for them – as well as other small business owners – to invest in FreeAgent.”

The company currently has 40,000 customers who will be able to take a stake in FreeAgent for as little as £10. It also hopes to flush out other traditional and non-traditional investors.

Its software is targeted at freelancers and small firms employing fewer than ten people. This accounts for five million businesses across the UK, just one of the roughly 100 countries represented in FreeAgent’s client base.

Now employing 70 people, FreeAgent has for the past two years ranked among the top 20 rapidly-growing technology companies in the Deloitte Fast 50.