Yesterday’s biggest New Zealand technology news story was Xero’s NZ$180 million capital raising. Local media outlets were all over the story. It made its way out of the tech ghetto into the mainstream business pages. Behind the NBR’s paywall Chris Keall reports Drury now ready for battle against giant Intuit in the US. The headline sums up the story’s main point nicely. Keall goes on to discuss a possible Nasdaq float. Businessdesk makes a similar point with Drury says Xero fund-raising sends strong signal to rivals. In case you missed it the message to take the accounting as a service operation seriously. The Businessdesk version shows up in many places including The Sydney Morning Herald.
Out comes the business-as-war metaphor
The NZ Herald opts for a military metaphor with Xero share soar on ‘war chest’ sale headlining a story which reads a lot like the Businessdesk version. In Wellington the key point for Tom Pullar-Strecker who files for The Dominion-Post is that money will mean extra jobs at Xero’s headquarters in that city. Pullar-Strecker also says the money is a vote of confidence in the company. Radio New Zealand is concerned with the jobs angle although it raises a different point in Xero planning expansion – if it can find staff. It reports the company saying it will struggle to find the extra people in needs in Wellington. There’s also a an audio clip of a Rod Drury interview with the story. TVNZ used the Fairfax-sourced Xero raises $180 million on its website. If there’s a video clip, I can’t find it. Idealog puts Amanda Sachtleben onto the reporting job. She delivers in the shape of Xero lands $180 million investment to fundUS charge.
International reporting from Wellington
Bloomberg’s international service has a story from Wellington reports Matthew Brockett Xero Heads for Record High After Capital Raise: Wellington Mover. Simple and straight to the point. Reuters’ report written by Gyles Beckford is even more terse with just three short paragraphs. The story makes it to The Wall Street Journal in the shape of Lucy Cramer’s Xero Gets NZ$180 Million From U.S, New Zealand Investors in Capital Raising. There’s a Ben Kepes report in Forbes magazine. He puts the news in Xero raises NZD180M To Fund US Expansion into context telling readers about Xero’s competitors and its New Zealand roots.
Kepes turns up as a local expert to add depth to Ingrid Lunden’s Xero Zeros In On Another $150M To Do Battle With Intuit In The World Of Online SMB Accounting Software at TechChrunch. Lunden’s story has by far the longest headline, but it also contains a lot more depth than any of the other overseas written reports. She includes the company’s capital-raising history and puts Xero in a broader context. She also uses Kepes wisely getting him to explain: “Why public Xero is raising funding from VCs, it’s an interesting predicament that seems unique to markets like New Zealand”.
Lance Wiggs is close to the business of raising tech company finance. On his blog he nails an important angle of the Xero story writing One more step towards Xero as a mainstream US stock. Wiggs has a different perspective from the journalists covering the story and his post is a must read if you want to understand how yesterday’s news fits into the bigger picture. In Australia ITWire’s report appears to do little more than rewrite the press release. Much the same can be said for the Australian-written version of the story that turns up in New Zealand Reseller News. It also gets a run in ARN. Australia’s Business Spectator takes the same approach.
Auckland-based Rob O’Neill tells ZDnet’s international readers Accounting upstart Xero raises NZ$180m. In Australia CRN reports Tony Ibrahim gets the channel angle with NZ software company’s $158m investment windfall. As he reports, there’s a non-traditional channel behind Xero’s stunning growth story.
Another well-written Australian report is at BRW where Caitlin Fitzsimmons reports Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures on board as Xero raises another $159m to fuel global growth. Fitzsimmons’ story is written for Australian investors hence the A$ value on the headline amount. The BRW story may be behind a paywall.
Lastly, UK-based The Register’s used Australian editor Simon Sharwood to pen the alliterative Kiwi ‘ccountancy cloud collects colossal cash casket. He ends his story writing: “If the new cash infusion helps Xero to repeat its trick of shaking up incumbent small business accountancy-ware players, plenty of Reg readers may soon find themselves being asked about migrations or implementations.”