SOURCE: CincyTech


January 29, 2014 12:09 ET

CincyTech Invests in Startup That Saves Accounting Firms Time and Money

Sqrl Launches Platform That Automates Routine Client Communications by Following Up on Requests

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwired - Jan 29, 2014) - CincyTech has committed $350,000 to Sqrl LLC, whose web application is designed to structure and simplify communication for the working world. The investment led a $550,000 seed round which includes Hyde Park Venture Partners and Vine Street Ventures.

Accountants and other professional knowledge workers spend as much as 25% of their time manually creating, tracking, following up and processing requests for essential client information. Sqrl (pronounced "squirrel" -- think of it as a digital hunter gatherer) solves the problem of that lost time and profitability with a request engine that automates and manages routine communication and requests.

"Sqrl is addressing a fundamental problem we all encounter every day, capturing and filing documents," said CincyTech principal Justin Thompson. "The founders happen to be from the accounting field, which might have more of a problem than most professions. We believe the team has created an eloquent solution to the problem and are well capitalized to test their solution in the marketplace."

Sqrl was conceived as an internal solution for founders Ryan Watson, Ryan Baker and Craig Baldwin, and their online accounting firm, Upsourced Accounting. When other accounting firms expressed interest, they took the project through the Brandery startup accelerator.

"We were losing half our day to playing air traffic control with our clients. It's the same problem we had when I worked at a big four firm. A team would send hundreds or thousands of requests via email, and we all kept track manually in one huge spreadsheet. It was a nightmare," said Sqrl co-founder Ryan Watson. "As founders originally from Southwest Ohio, we couldn't be more excited about building a company right here in Cincinnati."

Sqrl's initial market focus is small and regional accounting firms, with plans to expand the tool for the broader professional services market including financial advisers, lawyers and digital agencies. 

Pricing and Availability
The initial feature set of Sqrl will be offered to users free of charge. The team plans to iteratively release a set of premium features, such as white-labeled notifications, customized security, and team collaboration within the coming months.

Sqrl is a Cincinnati based startup focused on collecting information from others faster than any technology possible (read: email and collaboration software). A simple, fun solution to a timeless problem, the team is saving the working world from their inbox one Sqrl at a time.

CincyTech is a public-private venture development organization that invests in high-tech startups in Southwest Ohio. With support from the Ohio Third Frontier and corporations, foundations and individuals, it is stimulating the growth of venture-worthy companies in IT and bioscience.

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