Scottish angel investor group Equity Gap has invested £160,000 in the online booking start-up Appointedd, alongside Apollo Informal Investment and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
The deal, led by Equity Gap, will allow Appointedd to hire staff, doubling the size of its team and driving a rapid growth strategy in new markets and territories.
Appointedd's software delivers a comprehensive set of services including online booking, customer relationship management and marketing. The company said: "Until now, the market for business management software has centred around large enterprises. But recent technological advances, and the maturing 'software as a service' model, have made this technology available at a fraction of the cost and so accessible to SMEs."
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Appointedd's online tools allow small companies to manage their business entirely online, replacing traditional pen and paper systems. For example, customers can book online on their own website or via Facebook, and the company can use the software to manage staff rotas and send automated email and text marketing campaigns.
Appointedd's founder Leah Hutcheon said the firm aims "to empower small businesses", adding: "They say 'time is money'. Well, for any company whose business model depends on selling time, it really is.
"Our software means small businesses don't waste time but manage it as you would any other resource. Most small businesses still use pen and paper to record appointments and staff rotas. By taking this process online we boost efficiencies and deliver savings."
Initially developed for the health and beauty industry, Appointedd's customer base now includes a broad range of service providers from physiotherapists to dog walkers to music teachers to PR consultants.
Equity Gap is a business angel syndicate actively investing and co-investing in early stage Scottish-based companies.
Fraser Lusty, director of Equity Gap, says: "This collaborative investment is a great example of how Scotland's vibrant angel community works together to support start-ups and grow enterprise in Scotland.