Xero to hero – New Zealand’s most valuable company

Xero was founded in Wellington and still has its HQ in the city
Cloud accounting firm Xero is the most valuable company in New Zealand by market capitalisation, with shares up 50% in six months under new CEO

There is some degree of irony in the fact that New Zealand’s most valuable company was founded to simplify and reduce the cost of accounting.

Founded in 2006 in Wellington, Xero provides accounting software delivered in the cloud, especially for SMEs looking to streamline their admin.

Just a year later, the company underwent a successful IPO – gaining 15% on day one above its NZ$15 million (US$9.3 million) valuation. Fast forward to 2023 and the company now has a market capitalisation of US$13.27 billion, offices around the world, and the software being used by 3.7 million subscribers in more than 180 countries.

As more companies embraced digital transformation, Xero’s subscriber base really took off. In 2017, the company hit the magical million customers globally. In 2019, they hit two million, and three million in 2021.

CEO Steve Vamos oversaw most of that significant growth spell but announced in November 2022 that he was stepping down, and was succeeded by current CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

Cassidy has more than 25 years of global leadership experience, including spells at Amazon, StubHub and Google – where she was President, Asia Pacific & Latin America.

Speaking at the time, Cassidy said: “What excites me about Xero is the people and culture of the company and the passion Xeroʼs partners and customers have for our product as well as the large Total Addressable Market opportunity. 

“I believe Xero is a critical business tool for small businesses and their advisors. There are huge opportunities in front of us and Iʼm committed to building on the businessʼ great momentum, in line with Xeroʼs values. Iʼm looking forward to meeting Xeroʼs people, partners, customers and shareholders around the world, and leading the business through its next stage.”

What next for accounting company Xero?

The big question is, what does that next stage look like? Many technology companies have been consolidating in the last 12 months, and Xero seems to be no exception.

In March, the company announced it was retiring its project management software WorkflowMax.

Xero’s Chief Financial Officer Kirsty Godfrey-Billy said the decision “allows us to continue to focus our efforts in key strategic areas that we believe will deliver the best value for all our stakeholders in the short and long term”.

Cassidy is certainly delivering when it comes to share price, with Xero up a staggering 50% in the past six months alone – making it New Zealand’s most valuable company.

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