Sold: Ed Molyneux, 47, Olly Headey, 43, and Roan Lavery, 42, set up Freeagent in 2007
Three freelancers who launched an online accounting system when they became fed up with book-keeping and spreadsheets have landed an £11million windfall after selling to RBS.
Former RAF fighter pilot Ed Molyneux, 47, Olly Headey, 43, and Roan Lavery, 42, set up Freeagent in 2007 so small businesses could ‘feel smart, not stupid, about their finances’.
Edinburgh-based Freeagent is being bought by Royal Bank of Scotland for £53million – handing the founders £11.2million for their shares, which soared over 80 per cent yesterday.
The deal marks the first acquisition by RBS since disgraced former chief executive Fred Goodwin led its disastrous takeover of ABN Amro more than a decade ago.
Within months of buying the Dutch lender, RBS required a £46billion taxpayer bailout to save it from collapse.
RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said buying Freeagent beefs up the bank’s digital services for its small business customers.
Molyneux, chief executive of Freeagent, hailed ‘the beginning of a new and exciting chapter’ for the company.
He left the RAF in 2003 and set up as a defence technology consultant before meeting Headey and Lavery.
Freeagent has more than 60,000 customers, including 10,000 businesses that bank with RBS. It joined the stock market in 2016.
Last night its shares closed up 82 per cent, or 53p, at 117.5p.