Cooach was founded in 2016, a year when the first digital accounting apps really took off. All of a sudden, the small company could gain access to digital accounting services with AI support that, at a very low cost or even as a free service, could support the smaller company in its financial accounting. But for growth companies with more complex needs such as group consolidation or HR support, a digital offering was missing.
“My thought was whether an app was the only solution or whether it could be done in a different way that better supported a company by digitizing all the business support processes that are common to essentially any company of a certain size or with a certain complexity in corporate structure or services. “, says Carl-Fredrik.
At the same time, Slack had established itself as a tool that digitized both projects and daily communication. It did this by replacing the various systems for e-mail, meeting services and document management systems as a platform and linking together different project tools.
Continued development of the Cooach concept by using Slack as engine
Cooach took this on board and the working hypothesis was to use Slack as a digital office to deliver business support services, thus creating a business support system that provided the functionality of all the SaaS solutions that were coming to market during this period. The goal was to use digital tools and with Slack as the nervous system to connect the functionality, to create as good a business support for the smaller growth company as the large enterprise price companies have created through their staff functions. The ambition was to be able to offer it at a reasonable cost by making it digital and automating as many parts of the processes as possible.
“We have developed Cooach in the spirit of a truly lean methodology. We have set working hypotheses and always worked customer-driven. ”
Pilot tests with selected customers
In 2016, Cooach began testing Slack with two selected customers to verify that customers would like Slack as the basis of the platform. The response was great – they loved it! The next step was to automate the underlying processes. This resulted, back in 2016, in the first Cooachbot in the form of an automated flow for receiving expense receipts and booking them in the payroll system. Cooach then expanded with solutions for sending out salary specifications and invoices for certification. A series of small steps in a process that so far required a human to solve the task, now had human-bot interaction.
“We then went on to develop digital tools aimed at companies facing growth that requires external capital injection. We continued to run it as a lean startup company, constantly developing the services with our customers while growing as a company through new customers. ”, Carl-Fredrik continues.
Covid 19 strikes and Cooach expands
When Covid19 struck, the rest of the world caught up with Cooach, and demand for Cooach services increased markedly. Cooach then decided to invest heavily and equip the company for a growth journey by appointing a professional board of directors and carrying out a capitalization round that enabled a proper packaging of the service offering and also allowed the company to build up the distribution line at a faster pace.
“My vision is for Cooach to become the obvious partner of choice for the smaller growth company by offering the same business support that the large company has access to through all its staff functions. We provide business support that creates the right conditions for our customers’ growth. Our business model – a combination of automated self-service and back-office with expert human support – enables us to offer our services more efficiently and at a lower cost. ” says Carl-Fredrik.
Part of the growth strategy is to grow outside the Swedish market.
“We started already in 2018 in Spain, but then our primary idea was to build a back office in Spain with cost-effective labor and utlize the availability of skilled Swedes who have chosen to end their careers a little earlier to settle in Spain but who are open to continue working a smaller number of hours per month, providing a good recruitment base for senior experts. ” says Carl-Fredrik.
With the pandemic, however, the need for digitization also caught up with the Spanish market. Spain is a large market with low competition and in great need for digitization Cooach is now launching its business support platform in Spain and has already gained its first Spanish customer. But Cooach wants to establish itself in even more markets and is therefore also looking at an establishment in Poland in 2022, as the company has Polish expertise.
“The focus for 2022 is growth. Ever since Cooach was founded, our business has evolved together with our customers. Now we will actively go out and start selling our services. We have a milestone for 2022 to reach 100 customers in Sweden and Spain. It is important to prove both to ourselves and to our investors that we can create good growth and profitability”, Carl-Fredrik concludes.