5 Jan 2015

Rod Drury: 'We're just getting started'

5:23 am on 5 January 2015

Xero founder and managing director Rod Drury claims his company has aready beaten the local encumbents in Australia, New Zealand and Britain as well as its major competitor in the US, Intuit, in those countries.

Xero CEO Rod Drury

Xero CEO Rod Drury has overseen a rollercoaster year for the New Zealand-based accounting software company. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Drury says, even with Intuit spending $1.3 billion dollars a year on marketing and trying to undercut Xero on pricing, Xero can still beat it on its home ground as well.

That's despite one analyst questioning whether Xero should be in the US in the first place.

Xero's biggest competitor in Australia and New Zealand, MYOB, has published graphs showing it grew its online small-to-medium online business customers between September 2013 and June 2014 by about 75,000.

That's a little ahead of Intuit's growth, and shows Xero a distant third with about 25,000 new customers.

Xero's own figures show it added 33,000 customers in New Zealand and 79,000 in Australia in the year ended September, taking the total in both countries to 277,000.

Xero can be credited with single-handedly changing the New Zealand investment landscape and increasing investors' appetite for supporting early-stage technology companies which won't become profitable for years.

Mr Drury says the founders of the vodka brand 42 Below were the true pioneers - and discusses the power of marketing.

Time: Seven years on the sharemarket

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