Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Business Leader of the Year 2011 Finalist: Rod Drury

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Xero founder Rod Drury has signed on foundation customers such as Reannz, Vodafone and iiNet. Photo / Getty Images
Xero founder Rod Drury has signed on foundation customers such as Reannz, Vodafone and iiNet. Photo / Getty Images

Xero founder and chief executive Rod Drury has continued to make headway in the US market and driven rapid sales growth for the accounting software firm over the past year.

Xero replaces the traditional software-in-a box with a service running over the internet. It is payable by subscription and has processed more than $50 billion of customer transactions since it began in 2006.

The company recorded a 112 per cent increase in operating revenue in the six months to September 30, bringing in $7.9 million, up from $3.7 million in the same period last year.

The company also more than doubled its customer base and now has more than 50,000 paying users.

Xero narrowed its loss for the six months to September 30 from $4.7 million to $3.7 million. It was named the fastest growing exporter in the Deloitte 2011 Fast 50.

Drury is also involved with Pacific Fibre, the company planning to build New Zealand's second international internet link between Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles.

Over the past year, the company has attracted investment from Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel and has signed on foundation customers such as Reannz, Vodafone and iiNet.

If work gets under way on the US$400 million ($514 million) project, Pacific Fibre's 12,000km cable is due to be operational by 2014.

In 1995 Drury co-founded the software firm Glazier Systems, which sold four years later for $7.5 million. Drury's next project, AfterMail, was bought by Quest Software for an amount thought to be US$65 million.

- NZ Herald

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