Founders of PARiM, Riko Muttik and Risto Urb, pitched their idea at the start-up loan panel two weeks ago and they were more than successful. Since the beginning of 2012 more than 2,000 businesses have been approved for funding. Riko and Risto broke the record with their software project PARiM in March and got the biggest fund approved so far in the start-up loan history in the UK.
“It is absolutely amazing feeling if a group of experienced entrepreneurs shake your hand and say ‘Well done boys’. It shows that we are on the right track and it gives us a lot of energy and motivation to carry on with what we are doing” – Riko Muttik.
“The very last question from the panel was ‘What does PARiM mean?’ So we told them that it means the best in Estonian. I certainly feel that about our product and our team now more than ever.” – Risto Urb.
Where did it start?
Two friends with extensive backgrounds in IT industry and business management, Riko Muttik and Risto Urb noticed significant weaknesses in existing HR software packages half a year ago. They started working closely with the organisations that provide human resource as part of their services and began developing the best HR software which helps give extra value for businesses.
The solution was developed to fill a gap in the HR market where no proper solution exists that allows the interaction from client to companies. This is especially useful when an organisation provides human resources as part of their business offering. Organisations like facilities management companies, security firms, contract cleaners, contract maintenance and the like. This unique feature allowing client access gives the organisation a different selling point, improves customer relations, assists in winning more business and reduces costs associated with general HR planning and management.
Once the software was ready, Riko and Risto started to look for an investment to execute a marketing plan. The government Start-Up Loan scheme seemed to be the best way to get this extra funding without giving away a share of the company.
What is the Start-up Loan scheme?
The Start-Up Loan scheme, which helps young people get their business ideas off the ground with a loan and mentoring support, demonstrates the strong demand amongst 18-30 year olds for self-employment. The scheme has already reached its £10 million pilot spend following high demand, and an immediate £5.5 million injection of funding was approved in March in Parliament to fulfil its pipeline of young businesses until the end of the month. The government has made £117.5 million available to fund the Start-Up Loans scheme up to 2015.
Key to success
The main reason why Riko and Risto were successful pitching to the panel was that the first release of the software was already completed. What is more, they proved to be a strong team with potential to build comprehensive software without an extra investment at this stage. The fact that the feedback from the first users had shown there is a certain need for this kind of product prompted the panel to give out the full amount which was multiple times larger than usual. Furthermore, members of the panel session were amazed what a small group of developers can build within such a short time.
Now the PARiM team starts to execute its marketing plan and they are also waiting to meet a mentor who is included in the received financial package.