As a freelancer or small business owner, you probably know that one of the most pressing issues is late payments and chasing customers months after a job was done. Meet Satago, the online platform where small businesses and freelancers can anonymously report when they get paid by their clients. It launches today at Disrupt Europe. All you need to do is link your accounting software to Satago — then everything will happen automatically. This way, you’ll get a better picture of what to expect from your clients.
“I grew up with a family business in the construction sector,” co-founder and CEO Steven Renwick told me in a phone interview before the conference. “This is something I remembered as a child — this company is paying late and is hurting our family business,” he continued.
Satago uses an API to connect its platform to existing accounting software. The CEO mentioned FreshBooks and QuickBooks as targeted applications. Your data is anonymized and obfuscated so that Satago and the rest of the world don’t know the exact amounts. You can control exactly what information is shared.
But what if that’s not enough and you really don’t want to share data with Satago? You’ll have to pay for reports. Primarily, Satago defines itself as an information exchange, and the only way to get data is to provide something in exchange — data or money. The exact pricing is not finalized yet.
The team of three has raised $48,500 (£30,000) in equity investment through Seedrs, a crowdfunding platform for early-stage British startups. In fact, it is one of the first British companies to go the crowdfunding route. This amount was enough to help the team develop Satago in seven months.
Now that the startup has finally released its product, many have shown a keen interest in Satago. For example, the British government met the company multiple times because it is very interested in helping eradicate late payments. It could boost small and medium enterprises in the U.K.
For now, it only works with U.K.-based companies as Satago links all of its data to a database of British companies. “The dashboard itself can be used from anywhere, and we’ll be expanding internationally,” Renwick said. Down the road, the company even plans to become an outsourced debt collector. This is the feature that could turn Satago into a real killer service for freelancers and small businesses. As Renwick said, “we’ll start chasing the customers for you so you don’t have to.”
Questions & Answers
Q: How much do you charge for report?
A: At the moment, we’re using a credit-based system. It’s not important for now.
Q: How do you distinguish what to share and what not to share in the accounting software?
A: All the invoices that you send out, we get this data.
Q: How many people are working full time in the company?
A: Adam and myself.
Q: You only raised £30,000, how do you stay in business?
A: I’m Scottish, I know how to survive.
Q: What are you suppliers?
A: We work with a cloud company in the U.K.
Q: How soon are you paying your suppliers?
A: Within 5 minutes that I receive an invoice.