After bootstrapping for 8 years, accounting startup Dougs raises $27 million
Dougs, a leading digital accounting platform for small and medium businesses, today announced a €25 million growth investment from Expedition Growth Capital. The investment, Dougs’ first external capital, will accelerate the company’s product development and go-to-market expansion across France and continental Europe. The following article was published in TechCrunch on 5 July 2023.
Dougs, a French accounting startup, has been around since 2015. It already generates $16.4 million (€15 million) in annual recurring revenue. And it’s a bootstrapped company, meaning that it hasn’t opened its capital and raised any funding from VC firms. But now, the company has decided to raise its first founding round.
Dougs raised $27 million (€25 million) from Expedition Growth Capital, a British VC firm that is looking for investment opportunities in bootstrapped companies that have reached a certain level of maturity. And Dougs seems to fit the bill quite well as the company has 14,000 clients and is already profitable.
At its core, Dougs is an online chartered accountant service for small and medium companies. It handles your financial statements and generates certified tax filings. Behind the scenes, Dougs works with chartered accountants, legal experts, HR professionals, etc. But the company has also designed its own accounting application to improve the relationship between the Dougs team and its clients.
In particular, clients can connect Dougs with their bank accounts so that the accounting platform can automatically fetch transactions. From the customer portal, clients can upload documents, receipts and more. Dougs can also handle expense reports and invoices, which means that you can use Dougs to get an overview of your company’s revenue — past, present and future.
Additionally, Dougs can facilitate the incorporation process. It can also be used for your company’s payroll. Dougs also provides legal advice when needed. In other words, the startup handles all the usual tasks that would be handled by an accountant.
There are 250 people working for Dougs. With today’s funding round, the company expects to reach the next level by doubling the size of its team by 2025. Up next, the startup plans to expand to new countries, such as Germany and the U.K.
Dougs competes with other online chartered accountant services, such as Keobiz, Livli, Wity, etc. Some tech companies like Pennylane are taking a different approach as they work with existing accounting firms to make them switch from a legacy accounting software solution to a modern software-as-a-service platform.
But there’s room for many companies in this space as accounting firms remain extremely fragmented in France. Existing accounting firms working with old school accounting applications remain the default option for many small and medium companies.