Xolo, an Estonian-born startup supporting freelancers and microbusinesses, has raised €3m to expand in 6 countries
The Freelance Informer asks Xolo CEO and Skype co-founding engineer, Allan Martinson if the startup has plans for the UK and Australia.
- Xolo to launch its microbusiness platform in six European countries amid a post-pandemic boom in solopreneurs; raises a further €3m
Xolo, an online platform for launching and running one-person businesses in Europe, has launched its localised service in Spain, to be followed by five other countries later this year and next.
The latest funding follows $7.2m (€6m) Series A funding raised in July 2019, bringing total investment in the company to $13.6m (€11.2m).
Who are Xolo’s investors?
The investors include Karma Ventures (Estonia), Vendep Capital (Finland), as well as some of the biggest names in technology such as Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn’s Metaplanet Holdings and former LexisNexis CEO Andrew Prozes.
What’s next for Xolo?
Xolo’s services so far are focused on location-independent, ex-pat, and nomadic freelancers. However, it is opening up to new services that target the sole traders (called “autonomos”) in Spain and later in the other European countries. Spanish freelancers can now use Xolo’s highly automated digital platform for their accounting, tax filing, and other compliance needs.
Xolo supports more than 75,000 solopreneurs, generating an annual revenue run-rate (ARR) of $5m (€4m).
The company said that the funding is expected to be a major step in its quest to become the invoicing and compliance platform of choice among freelancers and sole traders worldwide.
“There are more than 40 million independent knowledge workers around the world,” said Allan Martinson, Chief Executive Officer of Xolo.
“The growth of that number has accelerated during the pandemic. Also, we have seen that they are actually doing better than before the pandemic. Average billing of a Xolo customer has increased 29% in a year.
“Research shows knowledge workers typically spend up to two days a month on business administration,” Martinson continued. “We know we can help them cut that to near zero, allowing them to spend more time on chargeable services,” he said.
With the Xolo platform, the company claims that freelancers can launch their business in minutes including integrated bank accounts, invoicing, expense management, accounting, and tax filing.
“Since the platform first launched in 2015 Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, and Italy have grown to become Xolo’s largest markets, with 93% of customers recommending our service,” said Martinson.
Are the UK and Australia on Xolo’s radar?
Martinson told The Freelance Informer, “Regarding the opening of the localised service in the UK: it is not on our immediate list because we see the market opportunity in the Southern and Western Europe to be bigger currently. The UK is a very well-developed and competitive market.
“Australia, at this point, is not in our crosshairs as we are currently focusing on our European expansion.
“However, we are selling our other products to the freelancers globally, for example, the Estonian e-residency-based Xolo Leap. The UK is in the Top 5 countries for this product. “
What do people say about Xolo?
Luca Lixi, Founder & CEO at Lixi Invest, a financial literacy e-learning platform, had this to say about the startup, “Xolo makes starting and running your own business a piece of cake.
“I am very impressed at how much this reliable, trustworthy financial service has reduced the amount of time I spend on admin. Uploading my invoices and expenses now takes no more than 5 minutes. The platform works out any tax I owe and automatically keeps the authorities updated.”