Today Toronto-based Wave Accounting, the free small business web-based accounting solution, announced that it has acquired personal stock analysis tool Vuru, a company founded in Montreal that recently made the move to Toronto. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the deal brings the two-man team behind Vuru into the Wave fold, and introduces some interesting possibilities for product crossover down the road.
The deal is the culmination of a relationship that’s spanned almost a year, which began when Vuru founders Cameron Howieson and Yoseph West reached out to the Wave Accounting team for advice on building a free, web-based financial services tool. Over time, the two companies traded notes as Wave took on a an informal advisory role, and that led to a sense that Vuru’s talent and direction were something that would be well suited to the Wave Accounting mission.
“Yoseph and Cam are very, very high-level guys, who really fit into our philosophy of how to build software for financial systems in a simple way that drives value,” Wave co-founder and CTO James Lochrie said in an interview. “They’re very much aligned with the way we see the world, and that was one of the key reasons we decided to make the acquisition, because we knew that they would fit seamlessly into our environment while bringing in strengths in the areas that we really want to be strong in.”
The other reason for the acquisition had to do with product. Vuru provides investment tracking tools aimed at managing personal finance, which is not something Wave currently offers, though Lochrie says that some users are doing that kind of thing in the system via workarounds. That’s something Wave wanted to address, since Lochrie notes that a lot of investments are held inside of a business or inside of a personal account, but there’s often very little distinction between the two.
“Our philosophy is that for our small business users, their personal finances and their business finances are typically looked at as one entity,” he said. “We want to round out that picture for them so that they can have a much truer sense of their financial environment, and be able to plan and do all the things they need to do while looking at one product, instead of looking at mulitple products.”
Eventually, the goal is to intertwine both products, but figuring out exactly how best to do that will take some time. In the interim, Wave plans to continue to run Vuru as a separate, standalone product.
Wave’s ad-supported free services model is one that’s putting a different spin on online accounting, and Vuru’s stock analytics and investment tracking should add considerably to its value proposition for small business owners looking to consolidate their online finances. But executing in a way that makes sense and integrates the two different angles seamlessly will be a challenge, and Wave may have to tread carefully in order to avoid watering down their brand and core mission message to SMBs.