The Start Up Files is a series that aims to find out where good ideas come from and how they happen. Each fortnight we chronicle the journey of someone who brought their idea to life through the Renew Adelaide program. In this article, we chat to Sam Hassan, cofounder of eInvoicing platform Link4.
Sam Hassan and Robin Sands first met when working at a digital agency. They had the idea to team up and start their own company with the aim of helping small businesses. They’d find a problem and then find a way to fix it.
They began by looking at small hospitality businesses such as cafes and restaurants. When learning how these small businesses operate the first thing that stood out was how they were managing software.
“We found out they use four or five different software systems. One for accounting, one for recipes, one for catering, etc. The idea was to have one dashboard where they could see and manage all those systems.”
The only problem was it wasn’t really a problem.
Sam and Robin presented their idea to various business owners only to discover they didn’t have an issue with juggling multiple software systems. The real problem they needed solving was invoicing.
Imagine you own a small cafe. You purchase some milk from a supplier. The supplier generates an invoice with their accounting software and sends you the PDF. You then manually enter the invoice into your accounting system. You then repeat the same process with every supplier you buy from. It’s a slow and tedious process with plenty of opportunity for error. Soon you’re staying back after hours trying to keep track of all of these invoices.
Sam and Robin’s solution was Link4, a platform that would allow different accounting programs to communicate with each other. This would mean suppliers could send an invoice directly to their customer’s accounting program, a concept known as eInvoicing.
They had an idea. Now they had to work out how to do it.
“When you get an idea in place and you have validation from the customers that this is a real problem and you have the solution for that problem, keep going.”
Through the Renew Adelaide program they secured an office on Waymouth St. This gave them a base to build a team, a product and a customer base. It wasn’t long before they had expanded overseas to New Zealand with plans to launch in the UK and Singapore later this year.
Robin has also recently returned from Singapore after Link4 was selected as a Top100 Startup company at the Echelon Asia Summit.