Copenhagen-based Ageras Group, a company that offers an online marketplace for accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation services for SMEs, announced on Thursday that it has raised €30M in a fresh round of funding.
In February 2021, Ageras had raised nearly €60.2M in growth capital from New York-based technology fund Lugard Road Capital.
The latest round’s investment came from a group of European and American investors. New investors Centripetal Capital and Saeid Esmaeilzadeh joined existing investors Investcorp Technology Partners, Lugard Road Capital, and Roosgruppen in the round. A total of seven new investors came on board in the round.
Doug Friedman, Partner at Lugard Road Capital, says, “Our rationale for re-investing in Ageras Group comes down to the proven team, strong products, and their successful traction in a $400B+ market. They are poised to become one of Europe’s next unicorns.”
Ageras Group claims that the funds will help accelerate the expansion of its small business-focused financial services software and accounting marketplace.
Ageras Group CEO and co-founder Rico Andersen says, “This is a big milestone for us, but it’s not our destination. What started as an online marketplace for small business owners to find accountants in Denmark has now expanded into a financial cockpit used by more than 1 million SMEs across Europe and the US, giving them a single, centralised destination for nearly all their needs – bookkeeping, accounting, payroll services, invoicing and now financial services.”
After claiming strong organic growth and several strategic acquisitions, Ageras Group’s founders plan to focus on expanding in Scandinavia, Germany, France, and the UK.
Two founders, one vision
In 2010, Ageras’ founders Rico Andersen and Martin Hegelund started their own business venture, Få Det Gjort (“Get It Done”). Just like Ageras Marketplace, it was an online platform, but unlike Ageras, it was a platform for household services. The founders say that with their childhood savings and a bank loan invested into the project, they went off to build a business around this concept.
The bookkeeping and accounting, however, was outsourced to a traditional accountant who would deliver the receipts in a bag after the end of a calendar quarter. And Rico and Martin would, in turn, receive a trial balance after a few weeks.
The founders say that there were several problems: Firstly, despite having business acumen, they were not well equipped in specific accounting terms. Secondly, the numbers were already up to four months old. And thirdly, the numbers were not actionable and forward-looking – they were merely reflecting a three-month-old reality.
As the company grew, they realised that they needed a different accounting setup: new software that they could actually understand and explore their numbers further, and a new accountant that could help transform finance into business intelligence and strategic advice on the next phase of the business.
That is when they sold Få Det Gjort and founded Ageras.
What does Ageras Group offer?
Founded in 2012, Ageras Group aims to enable success for small businesses by simplifying their administration. It does that by integrating its solutions into a single “cockpit” for invoicing, accounting, payroll and financing, enabling entrepreneurs to focus on running their businesses.
Ageras Group began as the online marketplace Ageras.com, matching SMEs with accountants, and has expanded into a 250-person company offering a complete suite of tools and services for SMEs. Currently, the group offers cloud-based accounting software through its products Zervant, Billy, and Tellow and payroll software through Salary.
One of Ageras’ products, Tellow, is based out of Amsterdam and offers an automated accounting programme specially designed for micro-businesses and freelancers. According to Tellow, it helps users to control their own records at all times, by making their accounts understandable. Users can use its app to send quotes and invoices and keep track of their finances. They can also scan their receipts and invoices, after which they can submit each quarter in the VAT return to the tax authorities in one click, claims the company.
Martin Hegelund says, “There are tens of millions of freelancers and small business owners out there who don’t want to spend their precious time and energy on tedious backroom processes, especially ones which can be automated. That’s where Ageras Group comes in. Our ecosystem is simplifying the lives of small business owners, and our company grows alongside their companies’ growth. As they expand, their use of our products deepens.”
In 2020, Rabo Frontier Ventures, the venture fund of Rabobank, invested in Ageras to support its fintech growth. In 2021, the group launched an embedded fintech service providing financing options to its customers directly through its software. The company’s credit decisions are based on its proprietary accounting data, which materially de-risks lending and, consequently, offers more competitive rates for its customers.
The group claims that its solutions have been used by more than 1 million small businesses across Europe and the US.
In 2017, global private equity firm Investcorp Technology Partners acquired a majority stake in the Copenhagen-based startup. Most recently, Ageras acquired Zervant, a global invoicing software platform.