2017 has been an “insanely exciting” time for BCA Trade Partner, 1tap Receipts.
Backed by its parent company Receipt Bank, 1tap has recently secured a $50million Series B investment round from Insight Venture Partners, which has previously funded such success stories as Alibaba, Twitter and Shopify.
In addition to securing Series B funding, Receipt Bank has also been named within the top 10 of the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, which charts Britain’s fastest-growing private technology companies. The list reveals Receipt Bank’s 185% growth in annual sales over 3 years, fuelled by a customer base of more than 100,000 businesses in America, Europe and Australia... and counting.
UK-based 1tap has now entered an accelerated growth phase and has global opportunities within reach.
“1tap is an extension of Receipt Bank and was designed specifically for sole traders,” explained Matt Perkins, UK Sales and Strategic Partnership Manager at 1tap. “It’s a simple and efficient way to track income and expenses, which is often a burden for time-pressed sole traders.”
The app photographs receipts and puts expenses into the appropriate category for self-assessment, thereby automating part of the accounting process and helping to safeguard against human error. Over 60,000 self-employed business owners currently utilise 1tap, and that number is expected to multiply with the eventual rollout of MTD (Making Tax Digital).
“Our goal is to make being a sole trader as secure as possible,” said Matt.
Looking ahead, the new funding will enable 1tap to “introduce lots of added benefits” and develop an all-in-one solution for the self-employed.
“It’s not just about accounting. The app was built for Making Tax Digital, which will be introduced over the next few years. 1tap is one of the first to cater to these new requirements,” added Matt.
As commented earlier this year, Michael Wood, co-founder of 1tap Receipts, believes that automating the tax return process via MTD will help small businesses by automating and reducing the amount of time they spend on tax processes. He cited research suggesting that 45% of sole traders spend five hours or more completing their tax return and 22% spend ten hours or more.
And of course, whilst technological advances are helping 1tap’s customers improve their bookkeeping processes, it’s also directly fuelling the growth of 1tap itself.
“Technology is everything!” said Matt. “Our core service is data extraction. From a receipt we take 15 points of data, which is linked with Companies House and supplier company details. A big part of the process involves machine learning, so the app recognises suppliers that a customer has used before, like a plumber buying from their local B&Q store.
“It not only extracts expenses but it also helps sole traders know what they can and can’t claim for.”
The funding from Insight Venture Partners will enable 1tap to enhance their service, develop new features and, ultimately, reach new customers and global markets.
“Across both Receipt Bank and 1tap, we plan to grow our customer base to 1 million users. We also plan to take our product worldwide,” added Matt. “We’re working on creating a suite of products that will combine key elements including expenses and income, invoicing, mileage, and more.
“It’s a combination of standalone apps that will lock together to create an all-in-one solution.”
Whereas BCA Member Operators may be more familiar with 1tap’s parent company Receipt Bank, which is designed for larger businesses, 1tap targets sole traders and independent professionals -- many of whom are based in business centres and coworking spaces.
1tap itself is based at BCA Member Workspace Group’s Fleet Street offices in Blackfriars. This naturally presents the perfect opportunity to connect with the local small business community.
“Our research shows that around 70% of sole traders don’t claim all of their expenses. They simply don’t know that they’re missing out,” Matt explained. “So, we give talks and seminars at Workspace and other regional workspaces on all aspects of sole trader finance to help educate small business owners.”
The flexibility of their office space has also worked in their favour by accommodating the team’s rapid expansion.
“Last year, 1tap had around 5 employees. Today we’re a team of 36!” added Matt. “Workspace has been great for us as we’ve been able to grow inside the building.
“Initially, we had one office and when we out-grew it we moved into a larger split workspace. Now we’ve re-grouped together on one whole floor. The support and flexibility has been fantastic, every time we’ve grown they’ve been able to accommodate us.”BCA Trade Partner 1tap has launched a special promotion for clients based in BCA Member locations. Sole traders can subscribe to 1tap’s ‘Prime Unlimited’ service at the reduced rate of £29.99 for a full year (which can be claimed back as a legitimate business expense). Click here for details: http://get.1tap.io/BCA25