Countingup, The UK is offering a business current account with fintech built-in accounting features, closing £ 9.1 million in Series A investments. Leading the round is Framework Venture Partners, with participation from Gresham House Ventures, SEZ and Current investor.
It is notable that CountingUp has previously taken investment from ING, and the addition of Sage as a backer is interesting as both can help startups reach more business customers. It also potentially establishes a future road to the exit. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Founded in 2017 by Tim Fourek, who previously founded Clear Books, a cloud accounting software, CountingUp now boasts more than 34,000 business customers. The company’s long-term vision is a “financial hub” for micro businesses in the UK and beyond. Its initial “attack vector” was to combine a business bank account with bookkeeping to help file a merchant’s account – a major time sink and pain-point for sole traders and small businesses.
Today that includes a business bank account with its own code and account number, which is a MasterCard for paying and supporting fast payments and direct debits. On the accounting software side, CountingUp currently supports automated bookkeeping, invoicing, receipt, payment of bills, tax estimates and profit and loss reporting.
In addition, accountants can be given limited access via the web for better banking to customers with countingups. Fintech says it has the option for businesses to share real-time bookkeeping with their accountants, “eliminating the pain of reauthorization requests, data lag, duplicates and inaccuracies”.
To that end, Forecre tells me that the new funding will be used to haul the team from 30 to 80 people quickly. “This will enable more swim lanes of product work to keep our roadmap moving faster,” he says.
That roadmap includes tax filings, new financial services (such as loans, card payment services) and multi-currency invoicing and payments to support 33% of SMEs in the UK who trade internationally. A web version of the app is also planned for small business customers.
“We will also build our sales and marketing teams for more aggressive growth,” Fourek says.
CountingUp’s business model combines both SaaS and Fintech. On the SaaS side, the company earns a monthly membership fee. On the fintech side, it generates revenue from banking activity (such as interchange fees) on MasterCard spending. In the future, it will likely include credit, payments and other sources of income through the FX offering.
Neil Watkins, EVP, Small Business Volumes comments on Sage: “Investing in high-growth SaaS businesses is our strategy to enable small businesses and accountants to survive and grow. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the startup journey in a new way as businesses explore the benefits of bringing accounting and financial services together ”.