“We’re on the journey towards building a more integrated, single, holistic company and product.”
– Jamie McDonald
Hubdoc was acquired by Xero last July in a $70 million USD cash and equity deal, following which Hubdoc operated independently, with McDonald remaining in his position with the Toronto-based startup. This new role marks McDonald’s first position within the Xero brand, and represents the first Canada-based executive hire for Xero. He will also continue as co-CEO of Hubdoc, while Hubdoc’s go-to-market teams will report to fellow co-CEO Jamie Shulman.
“This is the natural outcome as we integrate from two separate companies into one,” McDonald told BetaKit. “There are two ends of the [integration] continuum, there’s: ‘Hey, we’ve bought a business and it’s going to run standalone.’ The other end of the continuum is: ‘We’re going to deeply integrate the product and go to market teams and treat it more like one company.’ I think we’re on the journey towards building a more integrated, single holistic company and product.”
Xero said McDonald’s role will see him lead the company’s core accounting products for small businesses, including Xero Mobile, as well as Xero’s automation and intelligence focus points across of all of its products. Xero added that McDonald’s new position will ensure the Xero and Hubdoc teams can work to connect small businesses with their financial data on the Xero platform.
“We’re thrilled to have a product leader of Jamie McDonald’s calibre driving such a crucial part of our business,” said Anna Curzon, chief product and partner officer at Xero. “His knowledge and experience is invaluable in accelerating our ability to unleash the power of AI and machine learning for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers.”
Boasting 1.8 million subscribers, Xero is a New Zealand-domiciled public technology company that offers a cloud-based accounting software platform for small-and-medium-sized businesses. The firm officially launched its platform in Canada in May 2018, a few months before it acquired Hubdoc, which McDonald said positioned Hubdoc for global reach by leveraging Xero’s scale. Recently, Xero announced a partnership with CIBC, Intuit Canada, and Ceridian to launch a new digital banking platform for small-and-medium-sized businesses.
Hubdoc’s service retrieves financial data from utility services, telecom providers, banks, and online vendors, that can be integrated into accounting platforms like Xero, QuickBooks Online, and Bill.com. The startup featured a Xero integration since 2014, and the accounting service provider indicated that last year’s acquisition would allow both companies to develop deeper integrations and new product offerings.
“We have an extremely talented team of Xeros working on a once-in-a-generation software opportunity,” McDonald said. “Being a part of bringing our teams together to deliver on that vision is thrilling.”
McDonald added that he’s excited to take on the role to continue Xero’s efforts in using AI and machine learning in its accounting services. Xero’s chatbot, for example, is being developed to integrate financial information with that from Facebook Messenger, using AI to quickly give their most recent financial data.
“What’s ahead for the team and for me is how we can deliver on that data automation vision across the entire Xero platform and to the customer base. It’s a cool time being part of a global company,” McDonald told BetaKit. “The fact that the technology and vision that we executed in Toronto on the Hubdoc team is we get to deliver that value to kind of millions of customers through the Xero platform is like the thing that gets me jazzed and excited every day.”
Image courtesy Xero