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Xero – not an overnight success

These days, if you are a small business and looking for that vital accountancy software to help with your growth, Xero would most likely be in your shopping list, if not on the top of it. Those in the industry like myself, have been amazed at the growth of Xero, as they march towards their first million subscribers.

Just like most companies, Xero’s success has not been an overnight success. Years of hard work fuelled with large sums of venture capital and public listings are now beginning to pay.

xero growth since inception
xero growth since inception

Xero was founded in November 2006 with founder investment of NZ$1.5 million and listed on New Zealand Stock Exchange in June 2007 raising NZ$15 million. A further NZ$23 million was raised in 2009.

In 2016, Xero reported revenues of NZ$207.1 million (US$ 149 million or GB£115.37 million).

I had the pleasure to exhibit with Xero in April 2008 in London at the Internet World. Perhaps at that point Xero had couple of thousand customers, and few hundred in the UK. Without the financial markets faith in Rod Drury and Hamish Edwards (it was Hamish who manned the exhibition stand), the story might have been different. My buddy, Gary Turner took over UK operations from Hamish in 2009, who then built the UK business into a sizeable operation employing 150+ staff.

xero geographical split
Xero geographical split

The point of this short blog post is that, it takes a lot of hard work to bring success. Without external capital, its extremely hard to achieve global success.

You can clearly see from the image below where Xero is heading. Whilst the focus is on the < 20 employee organisation, as the companies grow with Xero, Xero would nevertheless need to start catering for their growing needs. Having concurred the market dominated by Sage in the UK, with Quickbooks still in the picture, who might they take on next? Is NetSuite the unlikely candidate, as Xero moves up the value chain fuelled by the growing App partner network?

Xero growth ambitions

Xero growth ambitions

Self Tip: So I must work harder and find that external capital to realise my vision.



Published inAnalysis