Royal Bank of Scotland is to acquire UK accounting software vendor FreeAgent in a deal that values the firm at £53 million.
More than 60,000 customers currently use the FreeAgent book-keeping system to manage and maintain their business accounts, track time, log expenses, create and send invoices, forecast their tax bills and file their Self Assessment and VAT returns directly to HMRC.
The firm's software is one of over 15 new mobile banking app features launched by the bank for business customers since 2017. RBS says up to 10,000 customers have currently downloaded the package.
"As part of a larger organisation we want to accelerate our growth ambitions in the micro-business and accountancy practice space, as well as significantly improve our core product," says Ed Molyneux, FreeAgent founder and CEO. "The lines between banking, accounting and tax are becoming increasingly blurred and there are new opportunities for a more integrated experience between banks and accounting software that we believe will benefit businesses."
Listed on AIM last year, 23.5% of the company's shares are owned by Molyneux and partners Olly Headey and Roan Lavery, who say they will contribute their holdings into the RBS bid vehicle as a sign of their ongoing commitment.