The story of Mclowd starts like many other successful start-ups. Mclowd was born out of an attempt to “scratch its own itch”.
The Story of Mclowd
In 2012, Ashley Porter was shocked when he saw his mother’s bill from her SMSF practitioner. The accountant had charged $6,000 for the accounts and $2,000 for the audit of her SMSF. As an IP lawyer turned tech entrepreneur, Ashley knew that it didn’t have to be this way. So he set out to change the rules of the game. And the idea of Mclowd was born.
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Vision and Objectives
Mclowd’s vision is to improve the retirement outcome of self-funded retirees by reducing their SMSF costs.
This vision translates into four objectives. Reduce the cost of professional services around advice and accounting. Empower SMSF trustees to actively control and monitor their investments. Deliver maximum value at the lowest possible price. And make all this simple and stress-free.
The name Mclowd is a deliberate reference to the cloud without which Mclowd wouldn’t exist. And the name ‘Mclowd’ allowed registration of a domain and business name as well as a trademark, which Ashley knew a thing or two about as an IP lawyer.
Mclowd has a very different price structure to the main SMSF administration platforms. It is based on a Freemium model with a free basic version and the option to upgrade.
But even the paid Pro and Premium versions at $33 and $77 per fund per month respectively are significantly lower than other offers in the market. The Pro version offers online lodgement and TBAR while the Premium version offers additional bank and data feeds.
The main factor that makes Mclowd different to other software providers is its community of trustees who believed in the idea from early on. Their commitment makes Mclowd a community-driven platform.
Mclowd’s shareholders have contributed $1.3m in capital. That is significantly less than other software providers. Ashley Porter sees this low capitalisation as a virtue. It forces Mclowd to stay agile and find nimble solutions in the crowd or in the cloud.
Mclowd has been hosting on AWS from Day 1. This set-up allowed Mclowd to scale. All of Mclowd’s data is stored in Australia on AWS servers around Sydney.
Rather than building expensive infrastructure itself Mclowd connects with partners who focus on a specific aspect of the platform. Lodge It does Mclowd’s online lodgements. SISS manages Mclowd’s daily data feeds. And BMR Corporate Solutions allows the online setup of SMSFs.
Mclowd is a service platform connecting trustees with relevant service providers. Verus and Lime for example offer actuarial certificates through the marketplace.
Mclowd doesn’t have a physical office. The team is scattered across the globe and uses Github and other online tools to collaborate.
Mclowd currently has 5,000 registered users, consisting of 3,500 self-funded retirees and 1,500 practitioners. Active users consist of 2,000 trustees and 150 practitioners.
So this is the story of Mclowd in a nutshell. Please listen to our interview with Ashley Porter where Ashley shares a lot more insights with you .
Disclaimer: Tax Talks does not provide financial or tax advice. This applies to these show notes as well as the actual podcast interview. All information on Tax Talks is provided for entertainment purposes only and might no longer be up to date or correct. You should seek professional accredited tax and financial advice when considering whether the information is suitable to your or your client’s circumstances.
Last Updated on 05 May 2020