New Zealand-based accountancy software firm Hnry yesterday expanded its operations significantly with its launch into Australia, cementing its trajectory from burgeoning start-up to established fintech in the A/NZ region.
Founded in 2017, the company deploys software aimed at helping freelancers, contractors and sole traders manage the financial admin that comes with working for oneself.
The expansion across the Tasman comes after a six-month pilot programme resulting in ‘strong demand’ for their services from independent earners across Australia.
Henry co-founder and CEO James Fuller explains that Hnry provides a single service to take care of all financial admin for self-employed workers by combining accountancy with an app.
“From invoicing and payments through to deductions and tax filings – combining a mobile app with an accounting service means that it’s all in one place,” says Fuller.
Fuller says that in Australia, as well as New Zealand, the self-employed market has grown considerably, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before COVID-19, an estimated five million Australians were earning some or all of their income outside of PAYG employment,” Fuller says.
“In the last six months, this number has increased, as more and more Australians look to different ways of earning during this period of uncertainty.”
Now, with a team of 18 full-time employees, Fuller says expansion across the Tasman was the natural next step – not least because of the inquiries and interest coming from the Australian market.
“One of the main reasons that we chose Australia as our first overseas market was due to the sheer number of Australians that got in contact with us and asked us when we were coming here,” he says.
“Prior to our six-month pilot, we spent six months getting set up for Australia, configuring tax rules, refining our platform and working with our Australian banking partner NAB to get the service ready.
“We’ve had amazing feedback from early customers, who are really thrilled that the service has now arrived in Australia.”
When Hnry was first founded in New Zealand, it was just three people looking to solve their own problem, Fuller says.
“We were working as freelancers and contractors ourselves at the time, and we just wanted to focus on our clients and do great work, but suddenly we had to think about tax calculations and payments, or ‘reconciling’ in complex accounting software; we had to go and visit an accountant to ‘talk about our taxes’ – which mean a lot of stress and hassle,” says Fuller.
“We knew when we started Hnry that this was a global problem – it’s something that freelancers, sole traders and contractors have had to put up with for years.”