Many people don’t realize that there is a lot more to running a business than being good at what you do. Red Gorilla is attempting to tame the 800 pound gorilla known as time tracking and invoicing for individuals and small businesses.
“It’s a killer application for the small business segment,” says Eric Klein of Yankee Group. “Small business is a real sweet spot for new companies in the time tracking and invoicing management segment. It’s really under served at this time.”
Red Gorilla is a time tracking and invoicing system for everyone from the single independent contractor to larger businesses trying to keep track of employees on the run. No need for complex software or pricey consultants. This program is user friendly and works just about everywhere a client can be found.
Launched in December, Red Gorilla offers several time tracking and billing services. The first, Gorilla Web, is a web-based time tracking application which is free for an unlimited number of users. It provides complete time and expense tracking plus easy invoice management and reporting. It also includes free e-mail invoicing. Gorilla Biller costs $4.95 per month or $60 per year (plus postage) for unlimited fax, snail mail, certified or express mail invoicing. The Gorilla Go Pack is $9.95 per month or $99.95 a year and enables 100% mobile access via cell phone or Palm Pilot. The Gorilla Power Pack is $13.40 per month or $143 a year for a combination of all Red Gorilla premium services. These services are ideal for small professional service firms, independent consultants and freelancers.
“Many people don’t realize that there is a lot more to running a business than being good at what you do,” said Red Gorilla’s Jessica Mullens. “Back office uses such as time tracking and invoicing are evil necessities and we have set out to tame this 800 pound gorilla.” Hence the name.
Unlike most time tracking software which is tied to complex programs in desktop computers, Red Gorilla supports all Internet browsers and is easily accessed via desktop browsers, Palm devices, traditional and cell phones. The time tracking and expense form is simple and easy to use. Records can be updated by day, date or month.
When on the go, users can send their time and expenses to Red Gorilla via cell phone by calling the toll-free number, entering their user id and password then pressing 1 to enter time and pressing 2 to enter expenses. Data entries will appear on the Web site the next time the user logs on. When users HotSyncs their Palm devices, the records are transferred to the Web site and any new records created on the site are updated on the Palm.
For invoicing there are 18 formats to choose from, all of which can be personalized with company logos. When invoices are completed, just click “send” and they are delivered according to specifications (email, snail mail, etc.). Pending and past-due invoices can be viewed at a glance. Individual invoices can be viewed and edited on a single screen and the program generates accounts receivable and productivity reports. For those offering back office services, Red Gorilla can be offered to their clients through a partnering program called Private Label.
Red Gorilla founders include John Witchel, who served as managing partner with USWeb/CKS and as president of XCom Corp., a web consulting company which he sold to USWeb in 1997. He graduated from Stanford University (hence the ‘Red’ gorilla), is an NCAA champion and former American record holder in swimming. Other founders are Ariel Kleckner, who served as engagement manager for USWeb/CKS managing Web design development and implementation of large-scale e-commerce Web sites; Todd Fulton, who headed USWeb’s content management group prior to serving as USWeb’s director of business systems; and Mark Creasy, who most recently serviced as engagment manager for USWeb’s Audience Developmenta
nd Customer Relationship Management groups. Prior to his tenure at USWeb, Creasy worked for the British Council in the Pacific Rim where he was responsible for relationships with key partners such as Samsung, Bank of Korea and Hundai.
To date, the company has had a private placement of $1.5 million from the founders. They are currently entertaining venture capital firms for a Series A round of $5 million.
Competition is already out there for Red Gorilla. TimeBills.com also provides time tracking and invoicing for small businesses and elite.com, known for its very sophisticated TT&I programs for large legal firms, will be launching its small business version in early 2000.
“The trick,” explains Yankee Group’s Klein, “is to be a small business resource that is easy to use and quick to learn. Small business people don’t have time for a learning curve. Red Gorilla will draw significant notice as for its ease and simplicity.”
Klein contends that the next step will be visibility. Small businesses aren’t out there looking for products so the real challenge is to get out there where Red Gorilla can be found. With so many new companies trying to attract the attention of small businesses, Red Gorilla has its job cut out.
IN A NUTSHELL
Company Name: Red Gorilla
Address: 1475 Folsom Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, Calif. 94103
Phone: (415) 575-0414
Fax: (415) 575-0416
Contact e-mail address: [email protected]
Web address: www.redgorilla.com
Total Funding: $1.5 million
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