FreshBooks says it has raised $30 million in what it terms its first institutional venture capital round. And given Xero’s fundraising and plans for a IPO in the United States, it shows how eagerly investors are willing to bet on the low-end, online accounting marketing. You may remember that earlier this year, Paychex made an investment of undisclosed size in Kashoo. The funds raised by FreshBooks will be used to fuel growth, including the expansion of its work force from 150 to 400 by 2016. The round was led by Oak Investment Partners with participation from Atlas Venture and Georgian Partners.
And yeah, yeah, it was a good quarter, but the big news from this week’s quarterly earnings webcast was that NetSuite will introduce a new user interface in 2014. “Later this year, we plan on rolling out our next generation interface,” said CEO Zach Nelson. “It will make NetSuite the easiest and most enjoyable business application to use anywhere.” The other thing notable was it seemed Nelson might avoid taking a whack at the competition. But what a relief, at 40.04 minutes into a 50.40-minute long event, Nelson talked about when companies are “ready to upgrade out their legacy stone age SAP or Sage implementation”.
Cloud accounting company Xero plans an initial public offering in the United States for the year ending March 31, 2015. The company raised $150 million in capital late in 2013, largely from American investors, and you'd think these folks want their money back at some point. Xero is already public in Australia and New Zealand. With the company moving into an offering and the sensitivity involved in such endeavors, I was not surprised when an offered interview with Peter Karpas, CEO of Xero North America, did not produce a lot of new news.
Microsoft did its usual and reported a gazillion dollars in results for the year ended June 30. But that is not the most interest thing about the earnings webcast for the fiscal 2014 results. The thing that stood out is that CEO Satya Nadella participated in the event. And you may not think this is special – after all don’t CEOs take part in the earnings presentations? In the overwhelming number of cases, that’s true. But in Microsoft’s, it hasn’t been the practice. If former CEO Steve Ballmer was on any of the calls, I don’t remember and I started listening to them after the purchase of Great Plains in 2001, back when Bill Gates was CEO.