Juggling multiple software programs and spreadsheets for different business needs is a challenge Fredi Palmgren knows well. Five years ago, he was looking to solve this exact problem for his marketing company, and that is how he found Eero Saarinen, CEO and founder of Taimer.
“Eero was in the process of building a software called Taimer to address this problem. We sat down to talk about our visions and just clicked,” recalls Palmgren, today COO and partner at Taimer. “We both wanted to stop the fragmentation that happens when you set up a company and start to research tools for managing your customers, invoices, time management, tasks and more.”
Fast forward to 2018 and Taimer is doing precisely this. The startup has 16 employees and cloud-based software it claims will cover everything a company needs to manage its day-to-day processes, from scheduling to finances. The goal is to replace disconnected systems, single-function apps and spreadsheets with one integrated platform.
Taimer’s approach is working. According to Palmgren, the software is already used by several thousand companies of all sizes.
“Companies want ease-of-use, agility and cost-efficiency,” he explains. “You can improve productivity and save time when you have a tool people actually like to use and where all different modules work together.”
Boosted by Nordea
A real breakthrough for Taimer came in late 2017 at the Slush startup event in Helsinki. The startup launched two product packages for sole traders and small companies, and at the same time announced a partnership with Nordea, the biggest financial group in the Nordics.
“We are, together with Nordea, creating a completely new way for companies to manage their banking and financials,” Palmgren says. “We are integrating Taimer with multiple services the bank offers including e-invoicing, factoring, automated payment tracking and processing purchasing invoices.”
Palmgren sees this as a win-win situation. For Nordea, the collaboration offers a new way to facilitate the everyday operations of especially its smaller business customers and strengthen the bank’s relationship with them. For Taimer, it opens the door to over 500 000 potential customers in the Nordics and Baltics.
It is partnerships like this that play a key role in Taimer’s expansion strategy. Its software already integrates with numerous accounting software platforms, and now the startup is casting its net wider.
“Many financial institutions, software providers and telecoms companies with local and global marketplaces are looking for innovative software-as-a-service companies like us to offer as a value-added service,” Palmgren explains. “It is a growing trend in many industries.”
Taimer’s partner network will also feature prominently as the startup turns its attention to international sales. The company already has customers as far as South Africa and the US, and a new sales team to build upon them.
“Our primary focus, in the near future, is set on the Nordics, Europe, the UK and the US. English-language markets are a good starting point for us,” Palmgren says.
Part of Taimer’s plan is to build local sales organisations in key markets and add new language versions of its software. But this requires a lot of resources. To date Taimer has resisted startup convention by being entirely self-funded, but now in the growth stage the company is discussing outside investment.
“It is quite a task to take this kind of operation global,” Palmgren says. “All industries are getting digitised and we target this market with a very strong product. It takes a lot of work and a great team, but a year from now our software should be available in 100 countries.”