Online accounting software provider FreeAgent has embarked on the initial stage of its global expansion plans after completing its first acquisition in the United States.
The Edinburgh-headquartered firm, which provides an award-winning online accounting system for small businesses and freelancers, has acquired Chicago-based financial forecasting software firm 60mo - whose team will be incorporated into its new American division FreeAgent Inc.
The acquisition comes during a new investment boost for FreeAgent, which was secured after the company won the support of Lightbank - the influential Chicago-based Venture Capital fund. The new funds from Lightbank and existing UK investors will allow FreeAgent to focus on establishing and growing its U.S. division in the coming months.
By utilising 60mo’s knowledge and expertise in the U.S. accounting software market, FreeAgent plans to adapt its award-winning online accounting system specifically for the United States - providing an easier and more liberating way than ever for freelancers and small businesses to stay on top of their finances.
Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “We are very pleased to announce this acquisition and new round of funding. I’m delighted that we are being joined by an expert team with a wealth of knowledge in the U.S. accounting software market, together with the tremendous boost of having Lightbank on board.
“We already provide the market-leading online accounting system in the UK, which frees small business owners and freelancers from the complexity of operational tasks like invoicing clients or filing their tax returns. It’s never been more important for small businesses to stay on top of their money, and we’re committed to ‘democratising accounting’: making people feel smart - not stupid - about their finances.
“As FreeAgent Inc continues to grow, we will look to create new jobs in both the U.S. and the UK and we will be identifying other international markets to expand into. Our vision is for FreeAgent to become the online accounting system of choice for small businesses and freelancers, not just in the UK but across the whole world.”
Lightbank Partner Paul Lee added: “Easy-to-use accounting software is in high demand here in the U.S. and around the world. FreeAgent has already built a rapidly-growing business focused on providing UK freelancers and companies with incredibly empowering software. Our investment is the first step in bringing that product and methodology to the US market.”
The US expansion follows a period of rapid business growth for FreeAgent, which has seen the company triple its UK staff numbers in the last 12 months. FreeAgent also recently announced the first-ever direct integrated bank feed with Barclays - allowing customers with a Barclays Business account to have their bank data automatically updated in their FreeAgent account.
FreeAgent Inc will be based in Chicago, IL and a dedicated U.S. version of the FreeAgent system will be launched in the coming months.
FreeAgent provides an award-winning online accounting system designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers. Since launching its system in 2007, FreeAgent has rapidly grown a loyal community of 20,000 customers worldwide, who pay either monthly or annually for access to its easy-to-use software.
FreeAgent is run by founders Ed Molyneux, Olly Headey and Roan Lavery, all former freelancers who created the system after discovering that there was no available finance tool on the market to give them a clear picture of their business accounts. FreeAgent’s investors include Robin Klein at The Accelerator Group - one of Europe’s top investors who was named No 2 in Business XL magazine’s ‘Power Top 50 2011’.
FreeAgent has won accolades at the SIFT Media Software Satisfaction Awards and British Accountancy Awards, as well as being listed in the prestigious PCPro A-List and the Guardian’s Techmedia Invest 100 list.
Since 2011, FreeAgent has been part of the award-winning MyBusinessWorks applications package that Barclays provides to its business customers. FreeAgent was also selected in 2010 to power the ‘IRIS OpenBooks’ online accounting system for IRIS Software, whose customers comprise around 50% of the 28,000 accountancy practices in the UK.
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For more information, contact:
Michele Bayliss, PR Consultant
Tel: 01273 475672
Mobile: 0777 937 2106
Ed Molyneux, CEO
Tel: +44 (0)131 543 3166
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