Cambridge, UK. 8th September 2015

Sophisticated crowd invests in... Spreadsheets?

  • Software business safeguarding Excel spreadsheets receives backing from the SyndicateRoom crowd, including Finance Birmingham and angel investor Richard George.

  • The company, Info-CTRL, has sparked significant interest, having exceeded its investment target and attracted custom from high profile brands including Cath Kidston.

Info-CTRL, the software company that consolidates and brings order to the chaos of corporate spreadsheets, has exceeded its funding target using equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom.SyndicateRoom allows its members to co-invest alongside experienced angel investors in highly sophisticated investment opportunities, on the same economic terms as the lead investors.

Info-CTRL is the latest opportunity to gain the crowd’s interest, exceeding the company’s target and entering overfunding. Info-CTRL is a Software as a Service (Saas) solution that unites Excel spreadsheets and allows them to be edited by multiple users without compromising accuracy and security.

Here’s why that’s important: Excel use is near universal, yet brings huge inefficiency as users ‘go it alone’ with their favoured styles and approaches. Even well designed spreadsheets can become a bottleneck for workflow if only one person knows how to use it correctly. If a large amount of information is passed on to another member of the team, this can lead to confusion and a potentially large number of errors in important systems.

Thankfully for spreadsheet users, the solution to this problem doesn’t mean abandoning Excel. As Info-CTRL CEO Christine Hawkins comments, ‘the gap in the market that Info-CTRL is leveraging is the fact that people in business like to use spreadsheets, and instead of forcing them to use a cumbersome and less agile system we turned the process on its head and said “let’s work with what people love at the front end and build a robust and secure database back end”’.

Co-ordinating spreadsheets across multiple users tends to result in a loss of accuracy. Most famously, JP Morgan lost $6 billion due to ‘the financial model being operated through a series of Excel spreadsheets, which had to be completed manually, by a process of copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another’. Numerous other examples since then which have seriously damaged businesses, with a worryingly high 88% of spreadsheets thought to contain this type of error, according to MarketWatch.

Info-CTRL is proving that there’s a crowdfunding appetite for behind-the-scenes, powerful technology. Having already secured high profile customers, including Cath Kidston. Existing investors include Finance Birmingham and Richard George – a serial angel investor with an interest in software companies that dates back more than 20 years.

Info-CTRL initially used SyndicateRoom to raise £250,001, but quickly exceeded this figure.