Belgium’s Tricount offers an app to help groups of friends or couples share and settle expenses, and counts the likes of Splitwise, and Splittable as competitors.
However, unlike those rivals, the startup, which actually started out life as a side project as far as back as 2010, has yet to take any external investment. Until now, that is.
Tricount is today disclosing its first funding round: €500,000 from Belcube, the Brussels-based incubator and investment vehicle of Harold Mechelynck, Jean Zurstrassen and Grégoire de Streel — three successful Belgium entrepreneurs behind companies such as Skynet, Keytrade, and Ogone.
Despite the app already chalking up nearly 600,000 users and, I’m told, on track to hit the 1 million mark this year, the funding is actually going to enable Tricount’s two founders, Guillebert de Dorlodot and Jonathan Fallon, to work full time on the startup for the first time. There’s bootstrapping and there’s bootstrapping. This feels like the real thing.
They’ve also hired Nicolas de Biolley as CEO and Marketing Manager. Biolley previously worked at startups Skynet, Keytrade, and Netway, and was most recently Project Director at Digitas LBi in Paris.
“Tricount simplifies settling debts in a group, typically when going on a holiday with friends, or for people living together. Instead of having to compute all your expenses in an excel sheet, everyone inputs their expenses in the app, and Tricount does the maths,” explains de Biolley.
“The cool trick is that Tricount will simplify who owes to whom by minimising the number of reimbursements needed to get balanced accounts”.
Typical use cases include going on holiday with friends, sharing a house, throwing a party or simply going out for drinks. “Many couples use it too, so you can square things out easily at the end of the month: who paid the rent? etc.,” he adds.
As for how Tricount plans to compete with the plethora of other apps attempting to solve the same problem, de Biolley says simplicity is paramount. This includes not requiring users to sign up to begin using the app, an offline mode, which helps the app work better on vacation, and offering a web-based version in addition to native mobile apps.
Meanwhile, monetisation is currently limited to a little advertising revenue, but soon the free app will process payments for settling up, while premium features also remain an option.