Bokio, the Swedish based startup which utilises artificial intelligence to simplify bookkeeping for small businesses, sole traders, and freelancers, has raised €4M.
Led by Creandum (early backers of Spotify), with participation from European financial group Svea, and an individual investment from Chris Adelsbach, Managing Director of Techstars, the funding will enable Bokio to scale its business in the UK where it launched earlier in 2019, and to further develop its AI-based bookkeeping tool with the implementation of more add-on services.
Bokio acts as a digital assistant, providing support for a wide range of administrative tasks including invoicing, employee expenses, reporting and VAT returns. Its user-friendly interface is designed so that first-time business owners can make use of the software without requiring any previous experience in accounting. According to 2018 research from the Federation of Small Businesses, the average UK small business spends the equivalent of almost three working weeks and £5,000 each year navigating complex tax reporting processes.
Bokio was founded in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2015 by its CEO Viktor Stensson and CTO Mikael Eliasson, after Viktor helped Mikael, who was a freelance engineer at the time, fulfil various accounting tasks that he was struggling with. Together, they realised how intricate the tax filing system was and both saw a substantial opportunity to modernise the accounting industry by automating the bookkeeping process.
Accounting tasks are often a daunting prospect for many business owners due to their time-consuming, perplexing and often costly nature. Archaic legacy bookkeeping processes significantly compromise the productivity and overall financial stability of many small businesses. According to 2018 research from the Federation of Small Businesses, the average UK small business spends the equivalent of almost three working weeks and £5,000 each year navigating complex tax reporting processes.
Viktor Stensson, Bokio CEO and co-founder, comments: “We are excited to continue our partnership with Creandum, who share a mutual passion for serving the ever-growing SME community. Accountancy continues to be an expensive and inaccessible task for many small businesses and freelancers, and we are committed to democratising it by providing a simple, yet powerful, free-to-use service, with genuinely useful add-on services providing users with even more control and support. After achieving market dominance in our native Sweden, we are now focused on scaling our business up in the UK, where we have already seen a huge demand for our tool since launching earlier in 2019.”
Johan Brenner, at Creandum, comments: “We are proud to continue our journey as an investor in Bokio with this new injection of funding. Viktor, Mikael and the team have taken the company to great heights in Sweden and we are looking forward to seeing the company expand and develop its product across the UK and beyond. At Creandum, we are always looking to support future category leaders and we believe Bokio can become a global name in the accounting software space.“
How Bokio works:
Setting up an account takes just minutes and, once registered, users can begin to access a myriad of features specifically tailored to their needs. Bokio provides flexibility and convenience to businesses, offering a cloud-based and mobile-friendly interface that is both intuitive and secure. Bokio automates and simplifies a number of administrative tasks, including:
Bokio also provides a ‘To do list’ feature, which shares handy prompts that remind users to pay outstanding invoices or expenses, and flags if a client has been overcharged. A brand new feature which has just recently been introduced in the UK, ‘bank feeds’, now enables users to connect their bank account to their Bokio To do list and automatically import transactions from their bank or credit card, allowing them to, ultimately, be even more time efficient.
Bokio Premium - add-on services provide further support
Bokio’s Premium version enables users to connect with a real-life expert accountant. In addition, ‘Priority Support’ is available for £10 per month, which offers support within 24 hours (on working days). More add-on services, which are purchased directly through the website, will be rolled out in the UK in the future.