Making It Work: Leitrim firm targets €500k funding with solution for accountancy firms

Kollabro claims its project management software can help SMEs streamline projects and keep track of progress

24th September, 2021
Making It Work: Leitrim firm targets €500k funding with solution for accountancy firms
Collette Magowan, founder and chief executive of Kollabro. Picture: Stephen Davison

It’s not often you hear of a company that “scraps everything and starts from scratch” less than three years after its foundation. But Kollabro, the Leitrim-headquartered software firm, has high hopes for growth after going through a eureka moment in 2020.

Founded in 2017, Kollabro initially targeted its project management technology at firms in the digital and creative sectors before realising it “just wasn’t sitting right in the market”, Collette McGowan, founder and chief executive of the company, said.

But the company didn’t give up on its idea: a workflow software solution that would allow users to track workplace deadlines and post their progress on a single platform, rather than using phone calls, or emails to keep colleagues and clients updated.

Instead, it shifted its target market and began to develop a product aimed at small and medium accountancy firms. Now the firm, which is backed by Enterprise Ireland, is targeting €500,000 in seed funding by the end of this year as part of its plan to take its product to market. It is currently in the final two weeks of developing the software.

“We figured: ‘You know what? We actually have a product that fits into a different market that we didn’t intend to build it for,’” said McGowan, whose background is in architecture. “It kind of started as a new company at that point. It was just one of those things. We accidentally invented something really good.”

While the company was aiming its product at a very new target, it did not abandon the core idea underpinning Kollabro: a better way of keeping track of workflows, eliminating the need for convoluted Excel spreadsheets and lengthy email threads.

“We combine all aspects of a company’s workflow into one place,” said McGowan, who founded a number of other businesses before Kollabro. “It’s a 360-degree view of everything.”

As well as allowing staff to track the status of a task, the platform can also allow users to share updates with clients. “Everybody’s working in the same place with our solution,” said McGowan.

She said the beauty of Kollabro was its simplicity, particularly for smaller companies. “These businesses just want something that brings all of their small processes into one place, as opposed to using multiple systems that don’t interact with each other. We’re trying to give a solution that works for less technical firms.”

The company is currently planning its rollout in the Irish market, McGowan said, adding: “We’re converting customers after a ten-minute demo.” It hopes to expand to the British market in 2022.

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