Waddle is a cloud-based lending platform that helps small businesses with raising capital via invoice financing. Formed in 2014, Waddle was first launched in Australia, but now also services the UK from its base in Sydney with products that automate many areas of invoice financing.
The company has been an ecosystem partner with Xero since 2016, but the acquisition is seen as vital in boosting the latter's infrastructure offering in a challenging time for SMBs.
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Commenting on the news in a Xero blog post, CEO Steve Vamos commented: “The acquisition of Waddle is an important step in our strategy to grow Xero’s small business platform and to help our customers better manage cash flow and gain access to working capital as needed.
Waddle’s lending platform has the potential to enable a wide range of banks, fintechs and other lenders to better support small business financial needs.”
The purchase is expected to be in the region of £44 million and could be finalized before the end of the year.
The move will let Xero expand its growing business by offering a wider range of products for the SME sector, including its recently spruced-up Starter package. This is the second acquisition for Xero in the last couple of years after the company purchased the document management software venture Hubdoc for £53 million.
Xero’s trio of accounting packages, which range frtom the cheap-and-cheerful Starter option at £10 a month, to its Xero Standard and Xero Premium offerings, are popular with business owners who like the one-stop aspect of the service. All three bundles allow users to submit VAT returns to HMRC plus they offer keen discounts if you’re new to the service.
Despite the planned acquisition, Xero plans to keep operating Waddle as a standalone company after the purchase completes, which includes other accounting software providers.
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