The new EU VAT rules on the sale of digital goods actually create a level playing field for start-ups to compete against multinationals, Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners has said.
Dublin: 21.12.2014 03.05PM
Rod Condell and Chantel DePaor outside of the Media Cube in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, where Billfaster is headquartered
Enterprise Ireland is one of the investors that has contributed to the Billfaster funding round to help the start-up scale up its global business portfolio. Billfaster also says it expects turnover to be €1.5m, and to employ 15 more people within the next three years.
The company, which has its head office in Dublin, in addition to a New York office, recently raised €330,000, including Enterprise Ireland's contribution through the High-Potential Start-up (HPSU) programme.
Billfaster’s headquarters are in Dún Laoghaire, where it is participating in the Create programme for start-ups.
So what’s the Billfaster premise that has gleaned the attention of Enterprise Ireland and other investors?
The company has created an online system whereby business owners, particularly SMEs, can create and email invoices, manage cash and cash registers, keep track of expenses and stay on top of taxes.
Director Rod Condell explained today how the Billfaster system is fast to set up, citing the example of a company that recently signed up to Billfaster at 10.45am.
“By 10.49am they sent their first live invoice with absolutely no training."
He said the €330,000 investment will allow it to scale up its global business, which currently has more than 5,000 users.
Most of Billfaster’s customer base are start-ups, and include everything from restaurants, interior designers, car hires and detective agencies.
Billfaster began developing its software in late 2008.
The idea, explained Condell today, was that the system would be simple enough that anyone could use it, yet functional enough that any business would want to use it.
“We’ve found a nice balance between functionality and ease of use by making it ‘simple by example’,” he said.
“We have automated the accounting in the background so business owners don’t need any accounting knowledge or software training to be able manage their business finances. We have also incorporated a cash-planning tool to help start-ups succeed in their formative years.”
The basic Billfaster service is free, but for more comprehensive reporting and tools, premium versions start from less than €4 per month to €10 per month.