Getting to tell this story was never a given. That’s because my vision for Countingup was fairly ambitious. It still is. I wanted to change how the world’s entrepreneurs run their businesses. I wanted to combine accounting and banking into one app: To simplify, make real-time, automate and to save time and money.
First off, I shared this idea with some industry folk. “An accounting and banking app”, I said. “It will save businesses loads of time”. I daydreamed about a new category of business app that was neither accounting nor banking, but was both. It was better.
They said it was a crazy idea to combine two long established services into one. “What’s the point?” they asked. “Why wouldn’t I just use Xero and Barclays?” They said it would be impossible to compete on two fronts with the established incumbents. “Better to choose less competitive industries” they suggested.
Deflated but not beaten, I asked an old friend. “Mike, an accounting and banking app, what do you think?” 20 years ago Mike was my Computer Science classmate at Farnborough Sixth Form College. Mike’s career in tech had seen him work at corporates from Accenture to Oliver Wyman so I wasn’t holding out for a small business friendly reply. “Great idea!” came back the nod of approval. “My wife’s a freelancer and this is just what she needs.”
With both of us believing small businesses wanted an accounting and banking app, we quit our jobs and got to work. Mike roped in Dave, a housemate from his days at Imperial College. Dave then roped in Rob, a colleague at a previous company. That made 5 of us (including Mike’s wife) who believed in the idea.
We had a world class development team but no money. A month passed and we missed our first pay day. Lack of money was becoming a problem and it was looking like we would miss a second payday.
We’ve been that struggling new business trying to get started. Thankfully, after many meetings and lots of “nos” we found a small group of investors who shared our crazy vision.
And so we set to work. This was September 2017.
Today Countingup is the #1 accounting and banking app in the UK. More than 10,000 entrepreneurs have the simpler way to run their business that we dreamed of.
This is just the beginning of our story; Countingup from chapter 1.
Founder and CEO of Countingup