Future 50: Business software firm looks to expand team

Left to right: Henry Catchpole, Eunice Brain, Johnathan Korchak, Clive Gissing and Blaine Peakall of Inform Direct

The five founders of Inform Direct, left to right: Henry Catchpole, Eunice Brain, Johnathan Korchak, Clive Gissing and Blaine Peakall - Credit: Inform Direct

Inform Direct, a firm specialising in company secretarial and formations software, is expanding its team to meet increased demand for its products. 

The Ipswich-based company was established in 2012 by Henry Catchpole, Clive Gissing, Eunice Brain, Johnathan Korchak and Blaine Peakall – all of whom previously worked together at Suffolk Life, a pensions company that was acquired by Legal & General.  

The five founders combined their experience in accountancy, law, finance and IT to launch Inform Direct, after spotting an opportunity to create company secretarial software that is easy to use and meets statutory obligations for limited companies.   

“One of the challenges I had running Suffolk Life was keeping on top of all the company secretarial work,” said Inform Direct CEO, Henry Catchpole, who was previously CEO of Suffolk Life.  

“Surely, we could come up with something that would make keeping on top of the compliance aspect of running a business much more straightforward – to allow business owners to concentrate on actually running the company.”  

In 2013, Inform Direct raised £450,000 of investment through Cambridge-based crowdfunding site SyndicateRoom, surpassing its funding target of £300,000 in less than two weeks.  

Almost a decade later, more than 3,000 customers subscribe to the company’s software, which automates the process of updating company information on Companies House.  

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“If you were going to transfer some shares between directors, it sounds a very easy transaction, but there’s quite a few pieces of paper that are needed,” Henry explained. “Without software, you can get a blank copy, fill it in, and it will take five or 10 minutes.  

“But if you've got all the information, you can literally just click a button and it will pre-populate the stock transfer form – and produce the new share certificate – in seconds.”  

The majority of Inform Direct’s customers are accountants and lawyers who act on behalf of multiple businesses. 

“Probably five years ago, there was a lightbulb moment when we realised we could actually pitch our service more towards accountants, who look after not just one or two companies, but hundreds or thousands,” said Henry.  

“That was a game changer for us, and the rate of business growth became enormous, such that we now support one in 20 of all companies in the UK on the platform.”  

With over 250,000 companies now being managed through the Inform Direct platform, the company is recruiting for a number of positions to capitalise on a decade of strong growth.  

“We've been growing annual revenue by about 30pc for the last three to four years – even through lockdown – and now we're looking to press on, because although we're supporting a large number of businesses, there's an even larger number still to go for,” said Henry.  

“We'd like to take advantage of the last 10 years and build for the next 10 – and these new hires will help us do that.”  

The new recruits will take the Inform Direct team up to 20 – and Henry said the company is always open to hiring more people beyond its immediate requirements. 

“I've learned over the years that if you meet somebody good, you should always recruit them,” he said. “Even if you don't immediately have a role for them, they’ll find a slot.”  

For more information, visit www.informdirect.co.uk