Practice Ignition lands $50M to scale globally

Practice ignition, an Australia-based client engagement and commerce platform for professional service businesses, has raised $50 million (65 million AUD) in a Series C round to accelerate its growth and expand globally. It brings the startup’s total raised to $75 million, said Guy Pearson, CEO and founder of Practice Ignition.

The fresh funding was led by JMI Equity, marking JMI’s first investment in Australia, with participation from previous backers including Tiger Global and EVP, as well as several strategic investors and family office groups.

Practice Ignition will use the proceeds to double down on growing its core key markets in Asia, North America and EMEA through further development, marketing and sales capabilities. The funding will also be used to fuel its U.S. market expansion through strategic partnerships with Gusto, Intuit and Thompson Reuters.

The Series C raise comes on the heels of a series of announcements. Practice Ignition recently unveiled a partnership with Gusto to accelerate the adoption and knowledge of people advisory services. It also announced plans to set up a new R&D team in Toronto, supporting its innovation and customer expansion goals in North America.

Practice Ignition is on an ambitious path to reshape the professional services industry that does business with its customers through its all-in-one client engagement and commerce solution. Its platform integrates digital proposals, payments and automated workflows via leading business apps such as Gusto, Xero, QuickBooks and Zapier to streamline service-based commerce.

Practice Ignition has experienced tremendous growth since its inception, almost doubling client revenues facilitated via its platform in 2021. The business is on track to drive significant growth in 2022, with more than 1 million clients across six markets and over $2 billion in client revenue under management.

Practice Ignition was founded in 2013 by accounting entrepreneur Guy Pearson and product designer Dane Thomas, who grew frustrated by antiquated manual processes and late payments from clients.

Pearson said its platform was primarily a tool for accountants and bookkeepers, who are still a big part of its customer base. There are a lot of similar workflows in other areas of professional services, such as marketing and consulting, that Practice Ignition believes it can provide value to, he continued. It is continuing to build the platform to suit a broader range of customers.

“We are creating a new category with our client engagement and commerce platform, and we’re only scratching the surface when it comes to market penetration in the global professional services industry,” according to Pearson.

As the global professional services industry faces mounting pressure to digitize its operations and customer interactions in light of COVID-19, which has accelerated digital transformation globally, Practice Ignition is gearing up for a substantial shift, Pearson said.

“As the world moves online, many accountants and bookkeepers have to rapidly shift their business practices and functions to be fully digital overnight. With the transition of accounting from tax compliance to advisory, this means that the need to deliver engaging, quality customer interactions via technology is critical for closing deals, boosting profitability and winning and retaining clients,” Pearson said.

“Guy, Dane and the team at Practice Ignition have built a category-defining business with a world-class team. We have been impressed by the strength of the product, the engaged and loyal customer base and the enormous potential for growth and scale globally,” said Sureel Sheth, principal at JMI Equity.