New Zealand-domiciled small business accounting platform Xero has named its existing Toronto office as the company’s North American hub for product development and technology innovation.
“With Toronto named as one of the top five cities in North America for tech talent, we’re excited about the opportunities ahead.”
Xero called the move “a major commitment to the Canadian market.” The company plans to double employee headcount over the next two years, but when reached for comment declined to disclose how many employees currently work in Toronto. Craig Walker, executive general manager of payments and billing and founding CTO at Xero, said in a statement sent to BetaKit the Toronto office has capacity for over 200 employees.
The hub will focus on hiring product and technology specialists across its cloud accounting platform, specifically in the areas of global payments, billing, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning and ML. In a statement sent to BetaKit, Xero’s president of the Americas Tony Ward said the company opted for Toronto due to the city’s strong tech talent pool.
“Canada is a high growth market for Xero, and with Toronto named as one of the top five cities in North America for tech talent, we’re excited about the opportunities ahead,” Ward told BetaKit. “We’re always seeking ways to better serve our customers and the small business economy.”
“Today’s new normal has propelled small businesses to move from the physical environment to the cloud,” Ward added. “Our Toronto hub teams will play a key role in boosting Xero’s cloud accounting products to deliver more value to small businesses and their advisors.”
Xero offers a cloud-based accounting software platform for small and medium-sized businesses. The company has three offices in New Zealand, six offices in Australia, three offices in the United Kingdom, three offices in the United States, as well as offices in Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa. In December, Xero opened its Toronto office, which was initially the office of Toronto-based document management startup Hubdoc.
In 2018, Xero acquired Hubdoc for $70 million USD. At the time of the acquisition, Xero stated plans to turn Hubdoc’s Toronto office in order to establish a bigger North American presence. Hubdoc’s co-founder and CEO Jamie McDonald later joined Xero’s leadership team as executive general manager of product, accounting, and global services.
“Since the acquisition in 2018, Hubdoc has played an important role in accelerating Xero’s vision for intelligent automation and code-free accounting,” Walker told BetaKit. “In March, we announced that Hubdoc, which was previously offered to customers as a standalone add-on, will be included in business edition plans with a streamlined setup, single sign-on and access from within Xero.”
CBRE’s 2020 Tech Talent Report ranked Toronto as one of North America’s top four talent markets, which Xero cited in its reason for selecting Toronto as its technology hub. The company also cited proximity to STEM programs like those at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto as a major reason for its selection of the city.
The New Zealand company said it is supporting programs with the University of Waterloo to hire engineering students for four-month rotational internships, and with the University of Toronto to hire students through the Professional Experience Year Co-op Program. Canada country manager Will Buckley is leading the go-to-market teams from Xero’s Toronto office.
“Our product and technology teams are at the heart of Xero’s mission to provide small business owners with the tools and insights they need to be more successful,” said Anna Curzon, chief product officer at Xero. “Our product and technology teams in Toronto will help boost Xero’s cloud accounting products, bringing more value to our small business customers and their advisors.”
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Nadine Shaabana.