Reckon invests in local SaaS startup


news Australian software specialist Reckon has announced a strategic minority investment in local start-up Connect2Field. Reckon acquired a 30 percent stake for $660,000, thus providing its customer base a useful application for field staff management and paving its way into the CRM space.

Started in 2009 and based in Sydney, Connect2Field offers a cloud-based solution for field management aimed at small and medium sized services businesses, especially at tradespersons. It helps to improve customer service, organize field staff and simplify the back office. Key features of the product include job management, job notifications, quoting and invoicing. It is accessible from anywhere on the web on any mobile device. The primary mission of the company is to turn businesses into paperless ones without any loss in efficiency.

Clive Rabie, Group CEO, Reckon Limited said in a statement issued this week: “This provides yet another useful add-on for our customer base.” He added, “Many of our small to medium sized customers that have field workers may find this a useful complement to their current set-up.”

Boosted by significant business growth over the last year, the Connect2Field board looked for a large equity investor to accelerate growth and enter the international market eventually. Steve Orenstein, founder and CEO of Connect2Field (pictured), is a young entrepreneur passionate about technology and start-ups, and believes that the Australian start-up sector offers global opportunities. “Field service businesses are ideal candidates for Cloud-based software, and Reckon is an ideal partner for our future ambitions,” said Orenstein. According to Ben Kepes, Global Cloud Computing Analyst, it is expected that the additional funding from a listed company like Reckon will accelerate Connect2Field’s growth.

While integration with Reckon products is on the cards, Connect2Field will remain an independent vendor and the product would continue to be agnostic to any accounting systems that it may connect to.

Asked what the biggest inspiration in his career had been in a profile published on Delimiter in November 2010, Orenstein said he really admired what Chicago-based cloud Software as a Service company 37 Signals had achieved. “They have moved their company from a consulting company to a company which turns over millions of dollars selling their software. They have a very similar model with what we are doing with Connect2Field,” he said at the time. “In addition, about 2 years ago we saw the guys from Atlassian talk at a startup event. I could really identify with the things they had been through while their company was growing. It’s awesome to see such a successful global company which was started by Aussies.”

At the time, Orenstein said he often went to startup events, and met people who were talking about starting a technology business.

“Unfortunately most people only talk about the idea without actually starting,” he said. “The best thing anyone can do who is thinking about starting is actually starting. The first step is the hardest — don’t be afraid of failing, you only fail when you stop trying to succeed. You will learn a lot along the way and the startup phase is the most exciting!”

Image credit: Connect2Field