We began working with Tyk Technologies in 2015 just after it had begun trading. The London-headquartered software company makes a free open-source API Gateway, which is used by thousands of organisations, including some of the world’s biggest brands and smartest start-ups. It was a small company but with big ambitions. It moved from bedroom start-up to VC-funded scaleup within about four years, raising £4m in a Series A from MMC Ventures. Tyk, which has offices in Singapore and Atlanta, now has a team of over 60 people. It’s one of the UK’s fastest growing “scale-ups”.
“When I joined Tyk as finance director one of the main challenges was that it hadn’t had a finance function before. It was good to know that Barnes & Scott could take care of the day-to-day finance and help with more strategic and complex stuff that would help our company carry on scaling.
I never feel like Barnes & Scott are clockwatching. They are a trusted partner. In a scaling company you always go through transitions. Tas and the team understand that.
Barnes & Scott has helped Tyk on its journey. Tas can be a useful sounding board. I’ll often call him when I’m thinking about making structural changes within the finance function or other strategic things.
Because Barnes & Scott has worked with so many other start-ups, they can explain proven methods and techniques that our company could use or adapt. They can give us a benchmark to measure success.
Tas is also good at connecting us to a wider network of advisers, such as for tax. Tas is engaging, down-to-earth and generous with his time.
Scaling a finance function in a start-up environment can sometimes feel like building an aircraft whilst trying to fly it! Pretty much everything goes through you.
You need to build processes from the ground up, including tax, compliance and treasury and reporting to investors.
You must be jack of all trades and master of some. You need good advisers to help you fill in gaps you may not be able to answer quickly.
Perhaps the most useful specialist support Barnes & Scott has given us is in managing a claim for R&D tax credits. Our company spends a lot of time and money on innovative research. The amount that can be claimed back is significant but claiming the credits can be time consuming and complicated. Barnes & Scott made it easy. They have also helped us with EMI share options, project managing the process from start to finish.
It helps that Barnes & Scott has a start-up mentality. They get it. Previous accounting firms I’ve worked with often seemed slightly distant. It was very much a service-provider relationship and not a partnership as it feels with Barnes & Scott. There are no barriers between us.”
You need someone that understands your business, is flexible and adapts as you change your processes. For example, if your business is rolling out new software tools, you may need to scale your internal team. The status quo never really stays the same from a finance perspective.
Since we’ve worked with Barnes & Scott, Tyk has grown fast and expanded from EMEA into North America and Asia Pacific. We know that Barnes & Scott will continue to play an important part in our journey.”