Osu is a new payment app that allows self-employed professionals to get fully paid, fast. We aim to address two key challenges faced by self-employed professionals every single working day:
Maximising their earnings for completed work by guaranteeing payment in full, every time.
Optimising their cash flow, making it easy for customers to make instant, on-the-spot payments, and automatically chasing up any late payers.
By eliminating the hassle of ongoing payments admin, Osu gives these professionals the gift of time – more time to do paid work, more time to develop their customer pipeline, or more time off.
Crucially, we offer the ability to take instant mobile payments from customers, quickly and simply, with no card readers, downloads or sign-ups and, without incurring transaction fees. Professionals can share a payment link or QR code with customers, and even generate a professional invoice, there-and-then or later in the day – whatever suits them best. The result is better cash flow, more customers paying for work on-the-spot, and higher earnings, with professionals retaining 100% of each payment.
In addition, Osu allows professionals to easily input and manage customer payment details, calculate VAT, schedule automatic payment reminders against any outstanding invoices and receive instant notifications when payments arrive.
After launching last year and gaining more than 1,000 self-employed customers, we recently completed our £2.25m seed round, securing backing from leading early growth specialists Creandum and Ada Ventures, along with a series of prolific angel investors.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Both myself, and my two co-founders, have been self-employed at some point during our careers and we also work with a lot of self-employed individuals too. This means we understand all the typical pain points that come with being your own boss, particularly when it comes to getting paid easily and promptly. Business admin and management tasks can take up a lot of time, especially when you operate alone and don’t have any additional staff to help relieve some of the pressure.
We also found that most of the current SaaS solutions designed to address these pain points are aimed at large and enterprise-level businesses – until now, there hasn’t been anything that’s specifically tailored to self-employed professionals.
This clear gap in the market combined with the fact that open banking would facilitate a way for us to offer a free payment process for users, led to the launch of Osu last year.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Understandably, the ramifications of Covid-19 have had a huge impact on UK businesses, and particularly those who are self-employed. In fact, nearly half a million people opened a new business during the course of 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic.
There’s also been a huge shift in the way many self-employed people work. For instance, whereas a lot of work would have previously been carried out face-to-face, it has now shifted to a virtual domain. Similarly, many traders used to dealing in cash now cannot do so.
All of this has impacted how these professionals get paid and means that the Osu app is more relevant than ever before. We are providing a tailored solution to a challenge that is only likely to grow as we continue adapting to a post-pandemic world.
Since launching last year, we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers – with many likening our service to the administrative staff they wish they were able to hire.
What can we hope to see from Osu in the future?
We have ambitious plans for the future!
Over the next year we want to continue growing rapidly and aim to increase our customer base to at least 10,000 users. We also plan to add more business management and automation tools to the platform so that our users feel like they have a full management team around them – but at a fraction of the price and all via a easy-to-use app. We’ll also be building our team as we grow to ensure that we’re scaling and always offering the best possible service to our clients.