ONLINE accountant Crunch has received a £1.2m loan to boost future growth ambitions.

The company is based at Telecom House in Preston Road, Brighton and employs more than 180 people.

Annual turnover grew by 18 per cent last year to just under £10m and is set to more than double over the next three years.

The firm plans to use the money from Barclays to speed up organic growth by further developing its accounting software and expanding its services for SMEs.

It also wants to increase its online customer base which stands at more than 10,500 clients across the UK.

Darren Fell, CEO and founder, said: “Almost ten years after setting up Crunch, this level of external funding is a first for us.

“This is super exciting as it will enable us to branch out into new markets by expanding our small business accounting service to the bigger 10-49 employee businesses.

“This loan proves the strength of the business and leads the way to further equity investments to catapult the business forward.”

Graham Godley, corporate relationship director for Barclays, said: “We are extending our lending capabilities and credit appetite for ambitious, entrepreneurial tech businesses like Crunch.

“The UK economy needs innovation.”