A new Kiwi software as a service (SaaS) app is making small business ownership and success more attainable for thousands of people in New Zealand, regardless of business background and skill set.
Afirmo is a one-stop-support-shop for small businesses and people venturing into business, attracting 3500 customers in its first year.
The app helps aspiring business owners set up a business from scratch (sole traders, partnerships and limited liability companies) including all the necessary business and tax registrations such as IRD, GST, NZBN, BIC, ACC Cover Plus account, and also register as an employer and stay on top of tax obligations.
The app also provides marketing tools required in the early stages of starting a business like creating a website, designing a logo and registering a domain name.
The software then supports businesses to scale up using Afirmo’s integrated tax, insurance, and money tools, along with business insights.
Afirmo is a business dream come true for Auckland based co-founders and partners, Robert Rolls and Mary Fitzgerald. The company’s Chief Communications Officer, Mary Fitzgerald, says CEO Robert Rolls had the vision for Afirmo over many years.
“Rob recognised that aspiring business owners, in the past, before Afirmo existed, had to spend too much time “getting their ducks in a row – having to go to the end of the internet and back again in search of all the information required to get their business started,” says Fitzgerald.
Covid-19 lockdowns inspired Fitzgerald and Rolls into action. “We were, like everybody, dumbfounded by Covid-19 and the impact it was having on personal and professional lives. Even more so, people who were losing jobs and looking for new opportunities to stay afloat with income but didn’t have the right support they needed through that period of time to spearhead their own business opportunities effectively,” Fitzgerald says.
“We’d like to think that Afirmo removes a lot of the friction points for small businesses so they really can get on with the stuff that they need to commit to such as acquiring and keeping their customers.”
The couple began working on the project in October 2020, and launched the business with the first iteration of the app, their minimal viable product in August 2022. The business has grown from three full-time staff to ten since launching. It is now made up of Fitzgerald and Rolls, Ertan Sarikaya, Joachim Schoss [co-founder, director and investor], and seven other full-time staff