The team at Clear Books, a Fubra investment, is pleased to unveil our RTI ready online payroll software, Open Payroll. If you are an employer and are not sure what RTI is, you can read more in this article Real Time Information.

Clear Books started out as a pure accounting software play but from a very early stage we developed an integrated payroll module. This allowed our small business customers to process their payroll, email out payslips and instantly file joiners and leavers to HMRC.

To date our payroll module has only been available to our accounting software customers. It has never had its own marketing platform… until now.

With the launch of Open Payroll it is now possible to sign up and subscribe to our online payroll software independent of our accounting software.

Start running your payroll in the cloud. Here are five reasons that Open Payroll will improve your business.

  1. Anytime, anywhere access – you just need the Internet.
  2. Platform independent – works on Mac, Windows or Linux.
  3. Save time and quickly submit forms to HMRC online and instantly.
  4. Your employees have independent online access to their entire payslip history.
  5. No duplication of data – integrated with Clear Books, your online accounting software.

openpayroll

This is a guest post by Peter Zaborszky who founded Renegade Games Ltd in 2008, and received an investment from Fubra subsequently. This is an update on how the business is doing right now.

2012 bought a lot of changes to Renegade Games. While the website Top100arena revenues increased quite considerably, I decided not to develop any online games any more. The vision of SimRepublic that I wanted to create was too large for a small company like Renegade Games, either more capital was needed or a lower quality game, neither of which was an option.

After a lot of thinking about the project (the SimRepublic idea goes back to when I was 16), I decided to stop development on it, since there is a difference between never giving in, and never giving in despite overwhelming evidence you should.

Building a game that goes viral is a lot harder than I thought!

The story is positive from here though, as the change has bought some great changes to the company. After looking at possible websites to buy, and a deal to buy a price comparison site falling through, I decided I would create price comparison and review websites, and after some detailed searching I found a new industry, online backups, that needed a high quality comparison website, and also has the potential profitability for a review website to function (via adverts and affiliate sales).

After working on this backups site for a few months now, I’ve learned a lot about building these sorts of site, and I’m getting close to having a format that I can potentially replicate for other niches, which means I can scale the business. I’ve already started working on the VPN and Webinar industries, but these sites aren’t ready yet.

I’ll probably need to change the company name soon!


BestBackups.comScreen Shot 2013-03-06 at 15.56.46

The site was launched 4 months back with about 12 reviews of online backup providers, and has since grown to over 50 services reviewed, with another 50 articles added that were category specific, for example how to back up your mac online, or linux etc etc.

Online backups are a fast growing industry, there are probably 60-70 major services currently, and this is growing by about 10 companies every year. It’s becoming hard for people to choose a service, which is why I decided to create a review website. These companies all offer different amounts of space, different features, and for a different price, so for someone to choose the right one, they might need some help. That’s where the website comes in, it has detailed reviews of around 55 services now, and the category specific articles I talked about.

Since it’s a growing industry, I’m hoping it will be a very lucrative industry to be reviewing. The site has grown nicely and has been featured on several large blogs, the proudest of which was MacTrast, where we have guest posted twice!

BestBackups had its first profitable month in January, and is showing signs of growth from here on!

Any opinions about the new site is highly welcome!

Today we are happy to announce the launch of our latest investment: Marble Solar.

Marble Solar is a new business dedicated to the design and build of commercial and residential solar power panel systems. It is a collaboration between Fubra Limited and the directors of the Marble Group, a construction firm we have invested in.

Working with our friends at Bytewire over the past 2 months we have built, what I believe to be, one of the best solar PV estimation tools available online.

Step 1a – Enter your postcode

Step 1b – Draw your roof

Step 2 – View estimated income

Step 3 – Book a survey appointment

The estimator allows you to draw an outline of your roof on Google Maps, and select the orientation. It will then propose a suitably sized system for your roof, and uses either SAP 2005, or NASA solar irradiation data along with panel efficiency information to estimate the amount of electricity you could generate from the system over the course of the year. This data is combined with financial data such as Feed In Tariff rates and some assumptions on future price inflation to give you a projection of the amount of income and savings the system may generate over it’s lifetime.

For me, it’s great to see what our network of small companies can achieve when we work together.

In case you haven’t heard of us, furnish.co.uk is a home interiors personal shopper. We take the hard work out of shopping for your home by pulling together the best and most stylish furnishings from across the web. We work with multiple “sellers” and list a selection of each of their products, every one of which is hand-picked by us. Take a look to find everything from modern furniture through to gifts for the home.

We offer several partnership options to sellers, but the one I’ll talk about here is where we sell their home furnishings directly from furnish.co.uk, just like a marketplace. For example, a customer finds a coffee table on furnish.co.uk from a particular seller, adds it to their basket, checks out and pays, all without visiting the seller’s own website. The seller is notified of this and dispatches the coffee table to the customer. We take a commission on the sale.

Read More…

From the outside, furnish.co.uk looks pretty simple; thousands of fabulous interiors products from multiple different stores, all easily searchable and nicely categorised.

But, in the background, there’s some seriously clever stuff going on. We’re automatically scraping stores’ websites (with their permission of course) or scanning their feeds at regular intervals, and then subjecting this data to heavy processing to determine category, style, colour, materials, etc and also doing some very leading edge stuff to make our custom-developed search engine produce super-accurate results.

Read More…