Your business in brief?
Here at FreeAgent we make award-winning online accounting software for freelancers, micro-businesses and their accountants. We employ 120 staff from our HQ at Edinburgh Quay and we currently help more than 50,000 customers manage their business accounts and day-to-day bookkeeping more effectively.
Edinburgh is a major European financial centre and an impressive technology hub, containing a host of thriving start-ups and a flourishing tech scene.Ed Molyneux, Chief Executive, FreeAgent
I founded the company back in 2007 alongside my fellow co-founders Olly Headey (Chief Technology Officer) and Roan Lavery (Product Director). We had previously all been freelancers and shared a mutual dislike of using spreadsheets to manage our business finances. None of us could believe there wasn’t an accounting system available that had been designed specifically with freelancers in mind, so we decided to build our own.
What's driving growth?
We’ve been growing steadily for a number of years thanks to a combination of angel investor funding and crowdfunding, but we’re now in a position to accelerate that growth.
We successfully floated on AIM last November and we recently agreed a partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest – and we’re now looking to widen our influence throughout the UK and introduce many more business owners and their accountants to FreeAgent.
There are over 5 million micro-businesses (ie, those with fewer than ten employees) in the UK, and many of them are still using spreadsheets or even paper to manage their finances. There’s a great opportunity for a business like ours to help them take much better control. And with the government’s Making Tax Digital agenda now underway, we believe many of these businesses will be looking for a solution like FreeAgent to get them ready for digital tax over the coming years.
What roles will you create? What's the vision for your business?
We’re recruiting right across the business, from engineering and support all the way through to sales and marketing. All of our departments are integral to the overall aim of the business, which is to produce the very best accounting software that we can and help improve the lives of the freelancers, micro-business owners and accountants who use it.
How does being in Edinburgh help?
When we first set up FreeAgent, all of the other young UK fintech companies were setting up in London so we were going against the grain by choosing Edinburgh instead. I initially worried whether that decision would be detrimental, but I think it’s worked out perfectly for us – I couldn’t really imagine FreeAgent being headquartered anywhere else.
Edinburgh is a major European financial centre and an impressive technology hub, containing a host of thriving start-ups and a flourishing tech scene.
It has a great transport infrastructure in place thanks to its position as a global tourist destination, good access to high speed broadband and the city is far more affordable in terms of business premises costs than London. And it’s also a heavily academic city with a host of universities that are producing great tech talent – so that’s a really valuable resource to have nearby too!
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.