SMALL and medium enterprise (SME) owners are increasingly cottoning on to the fact that technology can boost their business, but that knowledge can be worthless if they just do not have the technical capability to harness this.
That’s one barrier of entry Kuala Lumpur-based Vectory Innovation Sdn Bhd hopes to break with its Biztory cloud accounting software.
“For a lot of our older potential customers, not being computer-savvy and not having professional knowledge in accounting make the thought of running their business with a computer system completely unthinkable and daunting,” says its founder and chief executive officer Bryan Soong.
“But we are confident that even without any expertise in accounting or technology, users can easily master Biztory,” he tells Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
Soong says that he and his team of five have poured their efforts into humanising technology, making Biztory more user-friendly, with a minimalist design and colourful visuals.
He also claims that the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) can slash the business workload by up to 90%, allowing SMEs to run in a simpler and more efficient way.
“With this smart business assistant, users can manage their tasks in billing, inventory, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) submissions, while monitoring business performance through summarised reports and analytics generated in real time.
“By gathering all the recorded sales into Biztory, we analyse and visualise the data into understandable graphs to aid business owners in making better decisions.
“Biztory helps to tell the story about a business,” he declares.
Low SaaS adoption
Soong says that the biggest challenge Vector Innovation has faced is the low adoption and acceptance of the SaaS model in Malaysia.
Most companies still have the idea that subscribing to a SaaS is more expensive than making a one-time purchase of off-the-shelf software.
“What they don’t realise is that SaaS offers better value for money, where users can pay-per-use and have the flexibility to downgrade or upgrade the plan anytime,” he says.
In July 2015, Biztory raised RM300,000 (US$76,531) from undisclosed angel investors and Malaysian-based venture builder AppShack Asia in a seed round.
Soong says that he is not going to be “aggressive” about raising more funds at this juncture, and would rather focus on leveraging AppShack Asia and its partners to grow Biztory’s user base.
“However, we are preparing ourselves for a Series A in 2017,” he adds.
Biztory is seeing 15 new sign-ups for its services weekly, he claims, and the startup recently rolled out a free version, Biztory LITE.
With its freemium model, users can try out the LITE version first and upgrade to the full-featured version anytime later.
The monthly subscription fee for the full version is RM48 (US$12.20) per user.
“We hope what we are doing [with the LITE version] can help more small and micro businesses start using a computer system to run their business operation more effortlessly,” says Soong.
Vectory Innovation is aiming for 3,000 users by the end of the year, with 10% of them paying subscribers.