FlowAccount Co., Ltd., has achieved another successful step in their operations via cooperation with leading venture capital funds in Thailand and Japan. The company – the winner of the AIS The StartUp 2015 – as a provider of online accounting services to facilitate business startups, aims to position their service as a key tool supporting Thai SMEs in the digital age.
Mr. Kridsada Chutinaton, Co-founder of FlowAccount Co.,Ltd has said that he is excited to see the company’s successful raising of USD1.15 million via their ‘Pre Series A’ fund after only three years in service for their online accounting application. With this system – designed for SMEs – FlowAccount has achieved a great step forward as a Thai FinTech startup, now in a joint venture with leading Thai and global venture capital funds that have recognized the potential of the company and thus show confidence toward partnering with them.
The investors include SBI Investment Co., Ltd. (SBI), which has invested in top FinTech firms across the globe; Beacon Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (Beacon VC); Golden Gate Ventures of Singapore; 500 TukTuks Fund and other leading venture capital funds from Japan and companies of KASIKORNBANK. This capital injection is a milestone for FlowAccount toward fulfilling their success with their innovative accounting solution; its advanced features enhance the responsiveness of the web site-based FlowAccount.com, admirably. The company is intended to create other new solutions to upgrade the competitiveness of Thai startups and SMEs in the digital era wherein the information technology is an important driver of our national development.
Mr. Kridsada added that, from his own experience in starting a small business, he is well aware of the importance of proper documentation and accounting that must handle business costs, revenues, expenses, and profits, but they also entail complex and time-consuming procedures, particularly for new entrepreneurs. With that understanding, amid an expanding SME sector, FlowAccount.com was developed to serve as a simple, anytime/anywhere tool for small businesses to manage basic accounting tasks on their own. And the company’s business plan expects swift customer base expansion. Currently, over 10,000 companies are active FlowAccount subscribers. Over 100,000 tax invoices are issued each month via the system.
In response to government policies, the company plans to provide e-tax invoices and act as a platform to connect other solutions for convenient and efficient back office operations. Among them are ‘Food Solution’ – a digital solution for comprehensive restaurant management – that was launched in May; a Payroll app linked to the K PLUS SME app, which was introduced in August to facilitate easy, speedy salary payments to employees; and Fastpay that facilitates easier payments to suppliers.
This allows FlowAccount customers to conduct financial transactions faster and more conveniently, thus, they aim to further upgrade their system to perform even greater feats in cooperation with business partners.
Their latest collaborative effort not only provides the company with funding but also offers a chance to work with highly reputable partners, paving the way for system development and customer base expansion. The company will soon unveil the new FlowAccount support system.
Mr. Thanapong Na Ranong, Managing Director of Beacon Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (Beacon VC) – a joint venture of KASIKORNBANK, has said that two months ago, KBank launched Beacon VC as an arm for investments into startups under their Next Building Block concept. To this end, KBank set up a one-billion Baht fund to support the development of financial innovations to reinforce KBank strategies. Their venture capital (VC) firm provides investments to startups that show the potential to create useful financial innovations and new technologies in keeping with KBank’s strategic plans. Being the first Thai startup invested in by Beacon VC, FlowAccount has great potential for success, thanks to their expertise in SME accounting management and an effective business plan.
Mr. Yusuke Inaba, Manager Investment Dept. SBI Investment Co., Ltd , said that SBI Investment – a leading VC firm in Japan under the SBI Group – focuses on IT and fintech investments, too, seeking out promising startups engaged in unique businesses. FlowAccount is an interesting startup, given that accounting systems are an important fundamental to successful business operations.
Moreover, FlowAccount is a fintech startup that uses the latest technologies in modern data management. These technologies, therefore, can be used to assist numerous SMEs in Thailand. At present, the use of online accounting systems is prevalent in Japan. For this reason, SBI Investment has decided to invest in FlowAccount with targets to steer FlowAccount toward higher growth and create business opportunities for the new generation of entrepreneurs to enhance their competitiveness and expand businesses, going forward.
Mr. Ruangroj Poonpol (Krating), Co-Manager of '500TuksTuks' – a Silicon Valley-based fund focusing on promising start-ups and Thailand’s most active investor in start-up business – says that '500TuksTuks' jointly invested in FlowAccount because of their bright prospects. FlowAccount stands out because of their brilliant online accounting solution and talented staff. He expects FlowAccount.com to have a pivotal role in driving entrepreneurs toward business success by helping them gear up for the digital age.
Mr. Jeffrey Paine, Managing/Founding Partner of 'Golden Gate Ventures', Singapore has been discussing the importance and value of investing in Thai startups, specifically FlowAccount.
FlowAccount is a FinTech Startup that uses the latest technologies in modern data management. These technologies, therefore, can be used to assist numerous SMEs in Thailand. At present, the use of online accounting systems is prevalent in Japan. For this reason, SBI Investment has decided to invest in FlowAccount with targets to steer FlowAccount towards a higher growth and create business opportunities for the new generation of entrepreneurs to enhance their competitiveness and expand businesses.
Golden Gate Ventures will be the lead investor at this stage in FlowAccount and there are a few reasons why Paine and his team want to invest:
The main reason we want to invest first is because of the team. At this time there are not too many transactions in their history yet. The team is really interesting here as they are not the typical founders of a startup. They were mid way through their established careers and came across problems so they decided to start new businesses to find solutions and fix the problems they faced. Another attractive quality was that their passion was really strong.
Small businesses for South East Asia are extremely important as they are the rock of the community and economy. They stabilize every country and what they have created helps business owners to be more successful. Most business software helps you to do two things. They help you to make money and help you to save money.
Paine Explained The first transactions were extremely interesting as they were very local. Coming from Singapore we couldn't understand the transactions, however, we realized that what they created was something that integrated well into the culture. Startups need to be culturally savvy in order to be successful and this is exactly what FlowAccount has generated and succeeded at Fintech companies in general, have a very good team as they are heavily regulated. Your team has to be very good when launching a product.
Paine declared that It’s extremely important because a lot of times regulators will try to shake you up a bit so having a secure team is really crucial
Startups and waiting for investments can be a slow process and a lot of times things don’t happen as quickly as you think. timing is important. Don’t spend too much money and try to lengthen your runway in order to sustain longevity.
It could take another 6 months to a year to develop business and fully attract investors. Jeffrey suggests that you ‘talk to all the banks because at some point they could open APIs for you and invest in your business.Paine noted that ‘If I look around the region, Thai banks are extremely progressive in comparison with the rest of Asia. We have Fintech companies in our portfolio but none of the banks will talk to startups in Singapore and startups don’t know who to talk to at the banks. This loss of communication is frustrating for startups so we feel the importance and urgency to strengthen this link for our portfolio members in Singapore.’
In conclusion, Mr. Kridsada noted that FlowAccount was primarily designed for startups. Their very user-friendly automated accounting software enables operators to send out billings within two minutes, even though they may not have an accounting background. With just one click, they can use a free service with basic functions such as sending price quotations, trade invoices and even generate tax invoices. Additional functions include inventory management, accrued-expense balance, staff salaries and other reports that help startup entrepreneurs to run their business professionally.
All information via FlowAccount.com is stored in the Amazon Cloud, which is internationally regarded for its security measures. Users can access the online accounting service anywhere they are and at any time using a computer or the mobile application available for both iOS and Android, in Thai or English. FlowAccount will also regularly organize workshops to provide tips on basic accounting because FlowAccount hopes to be a driving force toward the success of new generation entrepreneurs.