Cincinnati-based Sqrl announced today that it has raised a $550K seed round, led by CincyTech and including Hyde Park Ventures and Vine Street Ventures.
Ooops. I hope we didn’t spoil the ending of our Founder’s Accelerator Tale series!
As many of you know, Sqrl is a Brandery alum, started by 3 accountants to solve a problem they all dealt with in their day jobs: follow-up.
In order to succeed in accounting–and most professional services, actually–you need a significant amount of information from clients. You know who really sucks at getting you information in a timely, organized manner? Clients. And, it’s even worse when you have multiple clients, with multiple bits of information, and you’re handling all of the data by hand.
“Performing the accounting work was fine,” Sqrl cofounder and CEO Ryan Watson said in a statement. “there are great tools to handle that piece of businesses these days, but we were losing half our day playing air traffic control with our clients. It’s the same problem we had when I worked at a big four firm. A team would send hundreds or thousands of requests via email, and we all kept track manually in one huge spreadsheet. It was a nightmare.”
They guys at Sqrl (pronounced “squirrel,” and they want you to think of a digital hunter-gatherer) created an internal, automated system that handled those daily requests at their online accounting firm. When other firms expressed interest in the system, they figured they had something and applied to the Brandery.
Sqrl is focusing for now on small, regional accounting firms, offering their initial system free while they work on premium products. Eventually, the platform can be adapted for financial advisers, lawyers, and digital agencies.
“Sqrl is addressing a fundamental problem we all encounter every day,” CincyTech principal Justin Thompson said. “The founders happen to be from the accounting field, which might have more of a problem than most professions. We believe the team has created an elegant solution to the problem and are well capitalized to test their solution in the marketplace.”