Time lost on business’ financial management is not a-Muse-ing
With 15 years on Wall Street, Entrepreneur Ann Juliano’s knows the frustration of having to dedicate significant labour hours on managing a business’ Finance function. Corporate ‘housekeeping’ can distract senior management from focussing on developing the business and building growth. In fact, lost time in this manner is one of the most significant barriers to Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (’SMEs’) from scaling up, in addition to securing funding.
To meet this wide-spread and deep-seated challenge, in December 2019 Juliano launched the Muse app to provide a single aligned finance system platform designed specifically for SMEs with an intuitive and accessible user interface (see Muse’s interface graphic above).
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The app’s functionality covers vitally needed cash flow reporting as well as giving SMEs the ability to release capital from unpaid invoices and without the need to resort to expensive debt.
Quit cashflow worries and focus on your muse
Muse operates seamlessly across all SME sectors, including wholesale, service sectors and creative industries, and their website helpfully provides worked examples of how their product can support entrepreneurs in a range of contexts.
To operationalise, simply: download the app; sync with your accounting data and bank accounts; and, that is it.
The app is compatible with leading accounting software, including ‘Sage’, ‘Xero’, and ‘ClearBooks’. In addition, Muse is seeking to develop a finance professional network through partnerships with book keepers and accounts and other professionals.
Via the app, an SME can monitor their transactions, manage cashflow on the Cash Flow Dashboard, stress test cashflow, and release up to £500,000 through the sale of due invoices, all from your device. This releases valuable funding to SMEs without significant fees or high interest borrowing.
With all this pressure off, business owners can focus on those parts of their business that interests them – their ‘muse’.
Muse muscling in on the sector
Having launched in December 2019, Juliano’s Muse app was nominated as a ‘Top 50 FinTech to watch’, joining Barclay’s Accelerator, powered by Techstars, by the end of January 2020. With the country and much of its market going into COVID-19 lockdown shortly after that, Muse had to quickly adapt to the new reality. By building up partnerships, and confidently innovating including by automating pricing as soon as a client synched data, Muse was able to position its well to ride the storm.
As the challenging year continued for its SME client base, Muse was able to secure and provide £16 million in funding and establish a strong capital base to serve the SME market. Muse self identifies as being on a mission to give back financial control to SMEs, 2020 must have felt like Mission Impossible at times, but Muse and its clients got through ‘#together’. For 2021, Muse is confident about its position.
Ann Juliano states that Muse will take confidence from overcoming the challenges of 2020 in order to continue to grow and develop partnerships and the product even further.
Juliano hopes to inspire greater transparency in the market with Muse taking the lead in transparent and fair pricing within the SME market. In addition, Juliano is aiming to revolutionise revenue sourcing by promoting non-VC dependent or less-VC dependent approaches and make entrepreneurship less challenging for women, in particular, than it has been for her historically. Whilst she accepts she is in the fortunate position now of having built 3 profitable businesses already by her own endeavours, she is driven to empower SMEs to take back financial control for themselves.