Sqrl, an information-gathering and communication tool created by accountants, announced that its platform is now open to users, and that it has raised $550,000 in seed money

Accountants Launch Sqrl, Raise Seed Money

CINCINNATI (FEBRUARY 10, 2014)

BY DANIEL HOOD

Sqrl, an information-gathering and communication tool created by accountants, announced that its platform is now open to users, and that it has raised $550,000 in seed money.

The Web application aims to make it easier for accountants and other professionals to gather information from clients through a “request engine” that automates and manages routine communications and requests.

Sqrl (pronounced “squirrel,” like the gathering animal) was originally an internal solution for founders Ryan Watson, Ryan Baker and Craig Baldwin and their online accounting firm, Upsourced Accounting. They decided to take it to market when other accounting firms expressed an interest.

“We were losing half our day to playing air traffic control with our clients,” said Watson. “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 e-mail, and we all kept track manually in one huge spreadsheet. It was a nightmare.”

The company recently raised $550,000 in seed money in a round led by CincyTech that includes Hyde Park Venture Partners and Vine Street Ventures. It plans to focus initially on small and regional accounting firms, and then to expand to serve the broader professional services market.

“Sqrl is addressing a fundamental problem we all encounter every day — capturing and filing documents,” said CincyTech principal Justin Thompson. “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 eloquent solution to the problem and are well-capitalized to test their solution in the marketplace.”

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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