Welsh startup ANNA, which stands for ‘Absolutely No-Nonsense Admin’, has joined forces with ABH Holdings SA (ABHH), who are taking a majority stake and investing over €19.7 million into the company. The startup will continue as an independent brand, but with more resources behind them to invest into new products and grow the businesses.
ANNA, founded in 2017, is a design-led mobile business current account for freelancers and small businesses. Users can open an account in 3 minutes with an ID, and track all their transactions and payments on the app. Their long term goal? They see a future where ideas, creativity and innovation are encouraged and running a business is fun. The card and app even have a snazzy hand-drawn animal theme, guaranteed to cheer you up.
The app is free for businesses that are just starting out – in fact, they state that 53% of their customers fall into this bracket. Users get access to the app, an ANNA Mastercard, help with invoicing and 24/7 chat support. Regarding invoicing, the startup estimates that 30% of their customers regularly deal with overdue invoices. On that note, ANNA lets users take a picture of receipts to sort them digitally, as well as set up professional-looking repeating invoices. The startup can also help with accounting, and get company tax returns done and dusted with support from a certified accountant.
ANNA’s team is made up of design, marketing and tech experts from across the world (including London, Moscow and Auckland), but is based in Wales within the UK. So far the startup has been on a roll, winning numerous awards like the Finovate Awards, the Cards and Payments Awards, the 11fs Marketing Award and the FSTech Awards, as well as being featured in publications like Wired and The Times.
According to the startup, not much will change from the customer perspective with this new funding and partnership. Customer support will stay based in Cardiff, and all services will remain the same.
Eduard Panteleev co-founder of ANNA, explained: “This is an exciting moment in ANNA’s journey. In just over 19 months since we launched, this investment recognises the success we’ve achieved so far and will help support the development of our business in the UK and expansion further into the EU and other markets. Joining forces with Alfa Group – a strong financial and operational partner helps us towards our goal of becoming the leading UK and EU SME provider of business current accounts and financial admin services.”
Alan Vaksman, member of the supervisory board at Amsterdam Trade Bank and future chairman of ANNA. “I’m looking forward to embarking on this exciting journey together. At this moment most SMEs find themselves in a challenging situation, however, once the pandemic comes to an end, there will be a very clear realisation that neither corporates nor family businesses can afford to run most operational processes manually. Tech services and platforms, like ANNA, are in for some dynamic times ahead.”
In the future, ANNA aims to add a broader suite of digital financial services for UK and EU SMEs and freelancers. These will include lending products that will be integrated with ABHH other EU financial service providers, such as Amsterdam Trade Bank.