Xero raised $150 million last year largely from U.S. investors to increase its presence in the U.S. market. Now the cloud accounting firm says it’s seen a 200 percent increase in customers here since 2013.
The actual number of customers is still pretty small — just 18,000 in North America. That’s compared to much bigger numbers in Australia and its native New Zealand.
The annual report for the company’s fiscal year ending March 31 was released this week. Company heads said they are committed to growing their business here focused on the small business market.
In the report, Chief Executive Rod Drury and Chairman Chris Liddell explained:
“During this phase we developed a detailed understanding of the U.S. market, and with that knowledge and experience Xero is now building out the balance of the management team and moving appropriate global functions to the U.S. While independent product reviews place Xero strongly against competitors, there are numerous opportunities to create a ‘best in class’ product for the U.S. market. U.S. specific product development will be a significant focus in the forthcoming year.”
New leadership added this year to aid the expansion includes Liddell, who the company calls its independent New York-based chairman of the board. Liddell formerly served both as Vice Chairman and CFO at General Motors and as Senior Vice President and CFO at Microsoft.
Another addition is new CEO of North America, Peter Karpas, who the company says has strong experience in the U.S. small business market.
Xero has also strengthened the U.S. presence on its board of directors with appointment of Bill Veghte. Veghte is the Vice President and Manager of HP’s Enterprise Group.
The company has also increased its U.S. based workforce with an additional 376 employees added mainly in the U.S.
The increase in U.S. staffing has included new software and marketing teams based in San Francisco and a new contact, sales and operation center in Denver.
Xero executives say they have also built a support “ecosystem” of more than 300 partners. These include accounting firms who use the company’s software and other third party small business service providers.
While I see where Xero wants to go as the vision is quite clear, I wonder how everything can materialize into reality. These are all visions as of now. The only real thing here is the fact that they only have 18000 customers. While they definitely have some plans, I wonder if they’ll really hit their targets as they claim.
I just switched my business to xero. It is much better than what we were using before and I feel the export feature for invoices is much better than alternatives. The reconcile feature when importing bank info is brilliant (A++). Payment solutions like paypal and stripe can also be used. I am very happy so far with the switch and think any small to medium sized business should take a serious look.