Software for Freelancers
2019. Georges raises $11.2 million for its accounting automation tool
Georges, a French startup wants to help freelancers, doctors and lawyers when it comes to accounting. With Georges, you can get rid of your accountant altogether and switch to a software-as-a-service product. The product is dead simple. First, you connect Georges with your professional bank account. The company leverages Bankin’ to connect to the vast majority of French banks. After that, Georges automatically tags revenue and expenses to calculate your annual revenue, VAT, etc. It’s not perfect so you still have to manually categorize some transactions. But it’s still much faster than entering each transaction in an accounting application. Once everything is tagged properly, Georges generates paperwork and sends it to tax authorities. The company competes with more traditional software solutions, such as BNC Express. With a bit of machine-learning, Georges could quickly become much more efficient than those legacy tools.
2019. HoneyBook, CRM for creative businesses raises $28M
HoneyBook, a customer-relationship management platform aimed at small businesses in creative fields, announced today it has raised a $28 million Series C led by Citi Ventures. This brings HoneyBook’s total raised so far to $72 million. It is using the funds to grow its teams in San Francisco and Tel Aviv and build new features for its user base, including small companies, people who work by themselves (“solopreneurs”) and freelancers. Like other CRMs, HoneyBook helps them develop relationships with potential new clients, manage projects, send invoices and accept payments, but with tools scaled for their business’ needs.
2018. LucidChart raises $72 million to grow the web-based diagramming software
Web-based visual design platform Lucid Software has raised $72 million in a round of funding. Founded in 2010, Lucid Software is best known for its flagship Lucidchart product, which is kind of like a Microsoft Visio-style collaborative diagramming app that’s used for wireframing, UI prototyping, and similar use cases. Companies can use it to create an organizational HR chart, for example, though in reality anyone from freelancers to students can use the software. Lucidchart competitors include tools from the likes of Adobe and, as noted, Microsoft Visio, while other players in the field include SmartDraw, Gliffy, and the open source Draw.io. Lucidchart aims to differentiate itself through a combination of ease-of-use, access on any device or platform, real-time collaboration and advanced functionality, like automating diagrams and combining them with external data sources.
2017. Skype introduced Professional accounts
Skype announced the new account type - Professional Account - freelancers and online entrepreneurs, that give online lessons, tutoring and consulting. The Skype Professional Account desktop client, soon to be released in preview in the U.S., adds powerful new features to Skype to make doing your online business a whole lot easier. In addition to meeting with your clients as you have been on Skype, you can also book those meetings, accept payments, and keep notes—all in one place. Skype Professional Account gives you the power to do business from one app for free (during the preview). From French tutors to yoga instructors, you’ll be able to book lessons, accept payments, and give lessons all from one place, seamlessly. Plus, we’ve added an enhanced profile page to help improve your online presence and a dedicated website for your small business right in Skype. Your contacts will be able to see pertinent info like your hours and business offerings. All the features work together. For example, a payment request can be sent along with a booking.
2016. JIRA gets Upwork integration
Project management service JIRA is getting a new feature that will let you easily convert JIRA tickets into job postings on Upwork freelance marketplace. With this new integration, Jira users can now click a button and get a pre-populated form to submit to Upwork’s marketplace. This feature will likely appeal to small businesses that often have a backlog of feature requests and bug fixes they never get to. This is not the first time Atlassian and Upwork have partnered around JIRA. Upwork clients can already link their JIRA tickets to an Upwork account to allow freelancers to track their time, for example. Clients can also use Upwork’s messaging feature to receive updates when a freelancer checks in code to Bitbucket, for example, or update a JIRA ticket.
2015. Freelance engineer marketplace Toptal now sells designers
Toptal, the site that helps to find high quality engineers, is now routing designers with spare cycles to companies in need. Meanwhile Toptal takes job requirements from companies looking for a freelancer, negotiates a budget, and vets them too. By evaluating both sides prevents anyone from having a “shitty experience”. Confident both sides are legit, Toptal matches them up. Rather than making the hirer sort through dozens of resumes, Toptal sends them on average just 1.7 choices of coders before the client signs a contract. Client pays Toptal, Toptal pays the freelancer, and Toptal pockets the difference. With a supply of thousands of engineers, Toptal now works with about 2,000 clients from J.P. Morgan and Pfizer to Airbnb and Zendesk to fledgling startups.
2015. Cloud accounting service for freelancers FreeAgent raises $5M
FreeAgent, the UK-based cloud accounting software for freelancers and micro-businesses has raised $5 million in funding. FreeAgent launched in 2007, hewn from the frustration that managing company finances was just too damn hard for most small businesses and freelancers. Today’s FreeAgent news also comes at a time when the cloud-based accounting software market in the U.K. remains ripe for further consolidation. In late 2013, Iris acquired KashFlow for a rumoured £20 million, leaving a plethora of accounting SaaS startups on the table. Along with FreeAgent, these include Clearbooks and Crunch, the latter also primarily targeting freelancers and micro-businesses, albeit with a model that also includes an accountant.
2012. Socialcast and Wrike go freemium
Freemium scheme is becoming more and more popular in the Enterprise 2.0 space. Two more popular SaaS services Socialcast and Wrike - have released the free versions with wide feature set. Socialcast - is the service for building corporate social networks, which is owned by VMWare. Unlike its main competitors (Chatter and Yammer), which offer free versions for unlimited number of users, but with limited functionality, Socialcast is offering free subscription for up to 50 users, but without any functional limitations. The main advantage of this offering is the high level of security and administrative tools.