Introducing Turkish startups: Mükellef

E-transformation is a buzzword in the Turkish business world. But so much going on in the area, including startups. Mükellef is one of e-transformation startups  and coming strong, starting operations in the US and the UK

For a couple of years, e-transformation is a hot topic in the Turkish business circles. We can say that e-transformation process has become vital for businesses accelerated by the adoption of digitalization policies of the governments. Such an acceleration echoed in the world of startups and Mükellef (“Taxpayer”) is one the first startups operating in e-transformation area. Mükellef offers services such as bookkeeping, e-Invoice, e-Archive, e-Self_Employment_Voucher, e-Signature, virtual office, brand registry and e-commerce infrastructure through their business partners. I had a chance to have an interview with Okan Şafak, Founding Partner and General Manager at Mükellef and here’s what he told me.

What is Mükellef? What are you doing exactly?

We are a very young enterprise founded in 2019.  As Mükellef, we provide service as an online platform that enables tracking e-transformation processes, all documents and accounting processes that are subject to tax for sole proprietorships. We offer services that our users need after founding their businesses such as bookkeeping, e-Invoice, e-Archive, e-Self_Employment_Voucher, e-Signature, virtual office, brand registry and e-commerce infrastructure through our business partners.

What is Mükellef’s business model?

The needs that emerged with digital transformation lead to the birth of numerous new business ideas such as Mükellef. Sharing economies are growing everyday. Requesting entrepreneurs can incorporate their own companies through our platform only in 10 minutes without even entering into the tax office, notarial office or chamber of commerce thanks to our mostly fintech partners such as Sovos Foriba, Paraşüt, Scotty, Istegelsin, Ideasoft and Iyzico besides Garanti BBVA, ING, Mastercard and N11. The process starts with the users to upload the required incorporation documents via our online platform and these documents to be reviewed. After the documents are reviewed and approved, company incorporation steps are taken rapidly and reliably. Mükellef supports the users that want assistance in their digital transformation steps such as bookkeeping, e-invoice and e-archive, too. In summary, incorporation, accounting and financial processes can be performed reliably, easily and rapidly through our online platform. Especially in the period that we stayed at home and switched to teleworking due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we had facilitated the task of those that want to undertake an enterprise.  Applications had increased 40 percent for courier companies, 20 percent for sole teacher proprietorships and 25 percent for e-commerce enterprises. Food&beverage, advertisement and organization are among the top sectors that Mükellef provides service for. Furthermore, computer programmers, architects, engineers, doctors, attorneys, translators and even referees are founding their own companies through our platform. So, many individuals experienced the ease of incorporation through sharing platforms like Mükellef in this period of change. And it seems like the number of individuals founding their businesses through such platforms will continue to increase.

How many customers do you have, including individual and corporate ones?

Mükellef founded in 2019, at the end of August 2020 we have more than 10,000 registered members, and more than 2000 of our users already have their own companies.

Our active user count is more than 2000 and we aim to increase this number up to 4000 until the end of 2020.

Currently you announced that people can start business in the USA and the UK from Turkey through your system. Can you elaborate?

The acceleration of digitalization during the pandemic period mobilized the work processes of many sectors. Many different concepts such as virtual exhibitions and meetings had entered into our lives. And especially, online establishment of a legal corporation increased in this period. Moreover, we had seen Turkish entrepreneurs’ great interest in owning a company overseas without being stuck in physical procedures. Discussing the potential market targets of these entrepreneurs, we had launched the online overseas incorporation service through our existing platform that enabled Turkish entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in countries that they don’t reside in. In the first phase, we started with the UK and USA since they are among the top 10 countries in Turkey’s exports. And they are also in the top 10 locations where most of the companies are founded. So, we had created an important opportunity for Turkish entrepreneurs that want to benefit from the digital business opportunities of the day with our overseas initiative following Turkey. The system works similarly in Turkey and overseas. Our users easily access our services such as virtual office and software that they need for invoicing through our local business partners that have a full command of the respective country’s legislation during their incorporation process. Our goal for the end of 2021 is to offer other countries citizens the same service, enabling entrepreneurs to find their businesses online through our platform regardless of their location in the world.

Since the launch of your company you didn’t get any investments. Are you planning any investments in the near future?

We are a young start-up founded in 2019. We hadn’t received any investment since our foundation. We are growing fast currently and it is early for us to accept an investment at this stage. We forecast a growth with our own resources. 

That’s all I want to know. If you have anything extra, please add.   

As Mükellef, we had founded more than 2000 organizations as of August 2020. We forecast an increase of 50 percent in the number of sole proprietorships that will be founded in the second half of this year. We will continue to listen to the needs of our users and improve our technology to be ready for this growth. On the journey that we set off in 2019, we aim to reach 4000 users until the end of 2020. We plan to improve our strong business partnership structure that our users manage their financial processes like e-archive and e-invoice, and grow together with our business partners. We aim to enlarge our business partnership structure and offer our users new services with numerous advantages such as Mükellef Wallet and Mükellef Card. Our other goal as Mükellef is to expand the overseas incorporation service that we had launched for Turkish entrepreneurs in August 2020 to other countries’ citizens until the end of 2021, and also to increase the number of countries that this service is available to 10 by adding new ones to list besides the USA and the UK.

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