Coconut, the smart banking, accounting and tax tool aimed at entrepreneurs and small businesses, has raised over £2.4m in its latest crowdfund - beating its target by 350% - and has launched a new service aimed at taking the pain out of filing accounts as part of its new RBS BCR Pool E bid.
The speed of the crowdfund shows an extraordinarily strong community and belief by existing and new investors in Coconut’s product and growth, even during one of the hardest periods for businesses. Additionally, having onboarded 1,500 accountants since launch, the company is working in partnership with a growing number of accounting practices throughout the UK to launch its integrated and highly innovative accounting service offering.
Powered by Open Banking, along with a powerful new categorisation feature that will cut the time spent categorising transactions by 10 times, the Accounting Service is part of a raft of features that form part of Coconut’s bid for the share of the RBS BCR Pool E money.
A recent survey of 600 business owners found that they are spending 10% of their time and resources on financial management, whereas bigger businesses only spend 4%, a disproportionate burden. If Coconut wins the money they plan to give 200,000 business owners 7m hours of time back over the next 3 years that they would have normally spent on admin.
Sam O’Connor, Co-Founder and CEO, Coconut, said: “We’ve seen first-hand just how limited the financial services offering is for the UK’s 5.3m self-employed and micro-SMEs in the UK. Despite the growth of challenger banks, only 3% of businesses switch accounts each year and branch closures are reducing the relationship between banks and business owners. What’s more, 73% of small business owners say they only use their bank for transactions. In my view that has to shift.”
Coconut is using Open Banking to unshackle micro-SMEs from their bank and provide intelligent financial management on top. Their vision is to deliver time-saving accounting services that are fit for this vast army of micro-businesses. But they also plan to enable the smallest businesses to make their cash and assets work harder, with intelligent treasury management in their pocket.
O’Connor said: “Being owned by our customers keeps us connected to the community. We’ve not diluted our proposition by trying to cater to the larger end of businesses. We’re entirely focussed on the 93% of businesses that banks and accounting packages are actively rejecting.