Circit is a financial audit management platform operating in the financial services and technology sectors. The company offers a suite of services including the automation of audit confirmations, transaction verification, client collaboration, and legal e-signing of documents. Its primary customers are professional and financial services firms. It was founded in 2017 and is based in Dublin 1, Ireland.
ESPs containing Circit
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The financial risk & audit solutions market helps organizations manage and mitigate financial risks and stay compliant with auditing and regulatory requirements. These solutions offer tools and technologies to monitor, evaluate, and report on financial activities, internal controls, and regulatory compliance to enhance financial transparency and governance. The market helps organizations maintain …
Research containing Circit
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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Circit in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Oct 26, 2023.
Expert Collections containing Circit
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
Circit is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Fintech.
Excludes US-based companies
Latest Circit News
Apr 10, 2023
Accountant David Heath moved into the fintech space to set up Circit, which streamlines the compliance process for auditors. He talks to Nick Mulcahy about the company’s plans and how it overcame its funding dilemma. It’s often said that the best new business ideas tackle and solve a pain point, and all the better if the issue is global. That way if you prove the concept in a small market like Ireland then funders will provide the resources to take the enterprise overseas. David Heath’s Circit ticks all these boxes, which is why in a period of six years he went from begging for capital to having large VCs competing to invest. People outside the accounts audit sector have little idea of the huge paper trail involved in audit compliance. If a company’s end of year accounts and even its bank statement show €500,000 in the balance sheet, the auditor has to seek confirmation of that number from the bank. That means drawing up letters for the client to sign, getting them back and forwarding them to the bank, which has a large department dealing with hundreds of thousands of similar requests. The procedure adds delay and hassle when paper goes missing. David Heath, a class of 2007 B.Comm graduate from UCD , got to know this issue when finishing his chartered accountancy training with Grant Thornton . In 2011, Heath (37) moved on to a smaller firm Somers Murphy & Earl for three years, and then spent a year with AutoEntry before stepping out for consultancy while he formulated the Circit blueprint. The Circit idea is to sit in the middle of the compliance process. Through Circit, the auditor connects directly into the bank for the confirmation it is seeking. Paper is completely removed from the process, and as well as banks the platform connects directly to solicitors, brokers and payments companies for instant confirmation of company bank account balances. To outsiders, Circit illustrates how the process works with its annual accounts filing in the CRO. The final page of the ‘Certificate of Completion’ is a list of requests to account signatories, with time and date and even IP address, and the timestamp for the signatures effected. In this manner, the certificate details ‘Security Events’ and a User Audit Trail. Ulster Bank was the first bank in Ireland to appreciate what Circit was up to and work with the company as well as installing it in Dogpatch Labs, the Dublin accelerator. Circit Ltd was incorporated in July 2015 and the product was launched in October 2017. Heath recalls that the hardest part at the start was rounding up €150,000 from five individual investors to draw down matched funding from Enterprise Ireland in 2016 and 2017. A major fillip was Circit’s approval by the Central Bank in 2019 as the first Account Information Services Provider (AISP) in Ireland under the PSD2 regulation. “This accelerated Circit’s traction with direct integrations to banks across Europe and positioned us with a unique proposition as the verification layer for traditional financial assets and the next wave of Open Banking and decentralised finance,” Heath explains. Heath says that his conviction around the Circit proposition was his belief that manual compliance processes would not continue indefinitely. “If we didn’t solve it, someone else would, at some point. It was a relatively small problem that could definitely be fixed, and the solution has a global application. That was the starting point,” say Heath. “What we could see on the horizon was open banking becoming a regulation that would allow the connectivity to the backend of banking systems.” For Circit to progress, there had to be buy-in from banks and auditors, and an inevitable chicken or egg situation. “Every bank would ask how many auditors do you have, and every auditor would ask how many banks? However, we are an auditor first play in terms of our strategy. They are the paying customers and we innovate for them in the first instance. The more volume that came from the auditors, the more banks and law firms would sign up.” While Heath had auditor domain insight, he had to brush up on the tech side. He secured a web technologies diploma qualification from National College of Ireland in 2013 and undertook a databases course at Stanford the same year. “That allowed me to know enough about what's possible and to guide the tech team towards the solution,” says Heath. “I've sat in the seat of the users that we're selling to, and I can bridge the gap to the code that needs to be built.” The AISP regulation piece meant that Circit could connect into backend systems without having to sell the product to individual banks. The company took advantage of a regulation related to payments, and it proved to be a “massive accelerator”, according to Heath. Scaling start-ups can burn through cash, and Circit is a case in point. At the end of 2019, Circit had run up trading losses of €560,000 on the back of €550,000 equity invested and a €200,000 loan. Net current liabilities were €30,000 and Heath was worrying about meeting payroll. “That Christmas I remember being in the kids' bedroom and thinking about the €20,000 cash we had left to pay eight people. We had been talking to the Irish VCs at the time and turned down their offer because of the terms. We were looking to the new year, as our revenue increases in January and February. So we decided to hold out, which seemed like a terrible decision when Covid hit in March 2020.” In fact Covid was great for Circit, as everyone scrambled to automate and stop handling paper. Heath reached out to Cloudmover principal Harry Largey, and in June 2020 the ship was steadied with a €850,000 funding round. Largey invested €250,000 through Commodore Investments, with similar amounts sourced form an Angels fund and Bob Power and family. The cash came in handy as Circit expanded the team and booked a loss of €530,000 for 2020. The Circit team In 2021, headcount expanded from 14 to 24 people, Circit’s end-year tax liabilities rose to €440,000 from €100,000, and taxpayer investment through Enterprise Ireland increased to €500,000. Net loss for the year was €960,000 and negative net worth in December 2021 €660,000. The hat would definitely have to be passed around again. Heath had learned his lesson from the aborted pre-Covid fundraiser. He turned has attention to VCs outside Ireland, among them New York fintech investors Aquiline, and Middlegame Ventures, based in Luxembourg and with offices in London, Washington DC and Dublin. Heath’s pitch was that Circit was up and running, and that as a regulated AISP the platform could be deployed across Europe, as well as in Australia and the US. “We had customers in all of those regions. We just didn't have the resources to meet the demand. The raise was really to hire the team to help us grow,” says Heath. Heath approached Aquiline directly. “It's not so difficult to get the first meeting, but it's difficult to make them excited given that they have plenty of options for investing their money. We were very keen on Aquiline because of their fintech expertise and the potential partnerships they can bring. “Middlegame share our vision about the future of digital assets and instant verification of those assets. They are both great partners and we did have competition in that round. We made mistakes previously, as you need multiple offers to get the deal over the line. “We learned the hard lesson the first time around that if you only talk to one VC, they just slow play you for as long as they can. The second time around we felt we did it right, and it turned out the timing was good as well.” In May 2022, Aquiline and Middlegame each invested €2.5m in Circit Ltd, giving Heath the runway to hire additional staff to propel fast growth. Helping him out are former Grant Thornton colleagues Clodagh Vance, COO, and John Behan, CFO, along with CTO Sean Kenny. VCs demand metrics going in one direction, and Heath describes the experience as “very exciting”. He adds that the diverse, close-knit team is “loving the journey”, with the firm recruiting for software engineers, as well as sales and customer success roles. Preferred hires include people with an accountancy background. “They understand the problem and know it well, and they can help in terms of product development and on the sales side. For the accountant who wants a career change, Circit is a nice hybrid where they don't move away from accounting completely while acquiring a whole set a new skills.” Photo: David Heath
Circit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Circit founded?
Circit was founded in 2017.
Where is Circit's headquarters?
Circit's headquarters is located at Dogpatch Labs, Dublin 1.
What is Circit's latest funding round?
Circit's latest funding round is Series A.
How much did Circit raise?
Circit raised a total of $8.09M.
Who are the investors of Circit?
Investors of Circit include Aquiline Capital Partners, MiddleGame Ventures, Enterprise Ireland, Jim Brown, John Power and 4 more.