Ten years ago, Chris Strode, Founder of Invoice2go, was living with his in-laws working full time and writing code from a desk set up in the bedroom. A lot has changed since then, his company employs 45 staff and services, and now has over 120,000 active users that send out of $10 billion worth of invoices, according to Strode when we sat down for a chat at Startup Daily yesterday.
Whilst the financial figures of the business are not discussed, the most popular subscription product for customers is the $99.00 unlimited plan. This means that even if only 80% of all users were long-term paying users on the lowest available plan, that annual revenue would be exceeding the $50 million dollar mark – hence the recent investment of USD$35 million from Accel Partners and Ribbit Capital.
The company was one of the first ever in the category to introduce a mobile invoicing app. In fact, they were straight on the bandwagon with this as soon as the app store launched in 2009. By 2011, the Invoice2go app was sitting comfortably in the top 10 apps within the business category in the Apple app store.
We are starting to see a pattern in the space right now when it comes to late stage funding for Australian companies. In particular, there is a pattern emerging from Accel Partners. Currently they have invested in the Australian companies 99designs, Atlassian, Campaign Monitor, Mig33 (Asian founded, recently ASX Listed) and OzForex (IPO’d). Venture Capitalists in the United States are very interested in what is happening in Australia and are also very aware of local tech media and the traction of those within our startup ecosystem.
Ryan Sweeney, partner at Accel and newly-appointed member of the Invoice2go board, certainly seems excited by the deal and the potential it brings. “Small businesses globally are increasingly on the go and looking for mobile productivity apps to improve their operations and make their lives easier. We see a similar opportunity for Invoice2go to make mobile invoicing as easy as Dropbox has done for file sharing,” he says.
Echoing the same sentiment as Accel was Micky Malka, founder of Ribbit Capital says, “We have been tracking the success of Invoice2go for several years now. It has huge growth potential as an industry disruptor and we look forward to partnering with Chris and Greg on the next stage of growth.”
Of course the ‘Greg’ that Malka is referring to is former CEO of eHarmony and newly appointed CEO of Invoice2go, Greg Waldorf. He will fulfil his new role in the company’s Palo Alto office. Waldorf is tasked with growing the business and strengthening their presence in the markets they already exist in. Given the US in responsible for approximately 45% of Invoice2go’s revenue, it makes sense for him to be based on the ground there.
Yesterday afternoon we sat down and spoke further with founder, Chris Strode about the capital raise. I talked about why he decided to move ahead with it – albeit having a profitable and fast growing business. We also touched on the topic of building a sustainable business, as opposed to building a product and selling it off to a business.
You can listen to the conversation here: