The team behind renowned sales consultancy firm durhamlane has received £125,000 investment to help them grow a software development spin-out company. The funding comes from the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

Powerhouse Software Limited was set up to develop new products focussing on the accounting marketplace. Richard Lane and Lee Durham, alongside experienced accountant Will Tombs, established the company at the end of 2015, to capitalise on their knowledge and experience of the accountancy sector and of selling software products to it.

Since then, the company has recruited Nick Longden, former Executive with Xero and Sage as non-Exec Chairman, three developers and has launched its first product. Mile Eyes is an app that helps individuals and businesses manage their expenses more efficiently. By allowing users to simply and accurately track their mileage via GPS, it helps businesses save time away from core activities.

Richard Lane, Co-Founder of Powerhouse Software Limited, said: “Typically in business, we see people record their mileage with a notepad and pen. The information is then (often irregularly) transferred manually into a spreadsheet or larger software system. Many expense systems are cumbersome and mileage can get put onto the back burner for months at a time.

“The result is often the under-claiming of mileage for individuals, downtime away from “real work” and frustration with existing systems – all of which leads to a loss of productivity and frustration. For the business owner it can also be a missed opportunity in extracting reimbursement from their company in a tax efficient way. We hope that by launching an easy-to-use app and online portal that manages drivers and mileage, we can minimise the bureaucracy associated with business travel.”

In addition to Mile Eyes, Powerhouse Software has a number of other apps in development, all based on insights Richard, Lee and Will have gained through their consultancy work. One app aims to help small businesses file its accounts electronically while another helps businesses determine which tenders, bids or requests for quotations they should spend their time on. The products will all be sold on a subscription basis, and be available for both Android and iOS.

Rick Charnley, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures said; “We have known Richard and Lee for several years and have always been impressed by their ability and ambitious nature.

We hope that our investment will help Powerhouse successfully launch the Mile Eyes app and to develop other future products, whilst growing their team here in the North East.”