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FreeAgent expands into USA

9th May 2012
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Online accounting software provider FreeAgent has taken a step towards global expansion with the acquisition of Chicago-based financial forecasting software firm 60mo.

The 60mo team will be incorporated into the new American division FreeAgent Inc, which is planning to launch a US version of the FreeAgent system in the coming months.

The acquisition and US expansion follows an cash injection from existing UK investors and Lightbank, an influential Chicago-based venture capital fund.

Lightbank partner Paul Lee said that its investment was the first step in bringing the user-friendly online accounting application to the US market.

FreeAgent founder Ed Molyneux said the company would continue to focus on freelancers and very small businesses as it expands. Within the UK, he said, the approach was gaining traction with accounting practices that appreciated the competitive advantages of serving contractor clients with an online accounting service. “For example we recently brought on board a 1,000+ client practice," he said.

FreeAgent already has customers in 80 different countries, including several hundred in the US.  Using 60mo’s knowledge and expertise of the US accounting software market will help FreeAgent localise its system for the US market, where it will be taking on the industry’s established giants, Intuit and QuickBooks,  as well as New Zealand-based rival Xero.

Xero opened its US doors in San Francisco in August, and more recently hired former Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor program leader Ian Vacin as marketing vice president.

In spite of the competition from rival accounting developers, North America is a natural market for developers of English language Cloud accounting applications. With the focus squarely on the freelance/contractor market, Molyneux is not discounting further moves.

“As FreeAgent Inc continues to grow, we will be identifying other international markets to expand into,” he said. “Our vision is for FreeAgent to become the online accounting system of choice for small businesses and freelancers, not just in the UK but across the whole world.”

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