London-based fintech Claimer, which digitises the way startups apply for government subsidies — and claims a 100% success rate — has raised a $4.2m seed round led by Project A, a Berlin-based VC firm.
It plans to use the money to expand the service in the UK and prepare for international expansion.
What does Claimer do?
Claimer is a platform that helps British startups successfully apply for UK government research and development (R&D) claims — an incentive which allows founders to claim back up to a third of the money they spend on R&D, in the form of a tax relief or a cash credit.
Typically, applying for such schemes takes weeks or even months and involves a mountain of paperwork, hundreds of email exchanges, calls, and spreadsheets and templates to fill in. Claimer promises founders that the application process will take them just 10 minutes (plus a small amount of input from their team members) and that the whole process will be done with in 72 hours. Claimer then handles everything else: producing the final report, filing the claim and any necessary communication with HMRC, the UK tax body.
This speed is possible thanks to the technology behind the platform. “We leverage a company's internal and public data to hugely reduce data entry and back and forth,” says Adam McCann, Claimer’s cofounder and CEO.
Claimer charges a 5% fee (capped at £10k) of the claimed relief — if the application is successful. So far, the company has successfully handled over 700 claims, including those of startups like Otta, Nested and Unmind.
“No R&D claims provider exists today that can deliver robust and maximised claims with such low effort, especially at this price point,” says McCann. “It's a gamechanger.”
What’s the market like?
R&D tax claims are one of the most popular incentives for innovative companies in the UK — and the number of claims has been increasing over the years. There are many agencies on the UK market which help startups to file their claims, but, according to McCann, none of them has such robust technology that can process the claim so quickly.
Other fintechs, such as Taxfix, blue dot and Fonoa, help automate companies’ tax processes — but none cover R&D schemes.
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Who’s investing in Claimer?
- Project A Ventures
- Moonfire Ventures
- TrueSight Ventures
- Angel investors including Errol Damelin (cofounder of Wonga), Matt Clifford (cofounder of Entrepreneur First), Ian Hogarth (partner at Plural), Harry Briggs (partner at OMERS Ventures) and Ben Holmes (ex-Index Ventures)
By the end of 2022, Claimer hopes to quadruple the amount of money it's helping companies claim. The company’s plan is to cover all major government incentives, not just R&D tax claims.
McCann says it will also soon announce plans for international expansion: “The technology we've built that underpins Claimer's service is very powerful, and is extensible into any government incentive market.”
He also plans to reduce the process even further, to less than 24 hours from claim creation to money in the bank — currently it can take weeks. This solution is supposed to be ready by the end of this year.
As a downturn looms over the European VC market, demand for non-dilutive funding is only expected to increase. Despite recent problems with massive delays of payments, R&D tax claims — and all other forms of governmental support — will continue to be an important tool for startups looking for an extra capital injection.
If Claimer’s platform continues to work as quickly and efficiently as it says it does, it really can make the lives of many founders much easier.