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Xero Raises $49 Million From U.S. Investors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/29/12 -- Xero online accounting software for small businesses has raised $49 million of new capital from existing U.S. investors. The two investors, Valar Ventures (backed by venture capitalist Peter Thiel) and Matrix Capital Management, placed $49 million and also purchased $18 million in shares from Xero's three largest shareholders. Of the $67 million total, Matrix Capital Management is investing $47 million and Valar Ventures $20 million.

Since entering the U.S. market last year, Xero has doubled its revenue and customer base, integrated with ADP's online payroll platform, and acquired practice management suite WorkflowMax. The company expects to yet again double its operating revenue for the full year to March 31, 2013 and is positioned as the leading challenger to the incumbent competitor.

Xero's software takes a design-centric approach to online accounting, delivering easy-to-use tools and real-time visibility to help both accountants and small business owners realize the power of cloud-based financial management. Xero is also mobile, with apps on both Apple and Android platforms, allowing small business owners to access their finances anytime, anywhere.

"Over the past two years of our involvement with Xero, we have seen the team consistently meet and exceed their ambitious goals," says Andrew McCormack of Valar Ventures. "The incumbent software vendors in the small business accounting space are constrained by channel conflicts and legacy interfaces. The combination of an experienced and focused team, superlative product, good timing and an absolutely huge market give us confidence that Xero has a very long runway."

David E. Goel, Managing Member of Matrix Capital Management, says that, "We have witnessed the disruptive power of cloud computing across the technology universe, and we believe that Xero is the global market leader in cloud-based small business accounting software. Xero differentiates itself, not only as a model for accountancy, but also as a harbinger for where all software companies will have to go if they want to remain relevant. Matrix is excited and honored to be working with Xero's world-class management team, which has a product worthy of its talent. No one has developed a technology as simple or as powerful as Xero has."

Valar Ventures and Matrix Capital are both experienced investors in Internet companies. Valar Ventures is an investment vehicle of United States-based Peter Thiel -- co-founder of PayPal and the first external investor in Facebook. Matrix Capital has for 14 years invested across technology, media/telecom and consumer companies and co-founder Paul Ferri has been a venture capitalist in the technology sector for over 30 years.

"Small businesses and accountants are increasingly turning to the cloud for their business needs, and are realizing they need accounting software to move online," says Xero President, U.S. Operations Jamie Sutherland. "Xero delivers a credible alternative to QuickBooks. Xero had the advantage of starting fresh, rather than with all the constraints that Intuit has with its legacy products. Our rapid growth globally, operational capability, broad ecosystem of partners and funding gives us a very strong position to compete with the incumbent."

About Xero

Xero is beautiful, easy to use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has over 100,000 paying customers and 200,000 users in more than 100 countries around the world. Xero's U.S. team is based in San Francisco. Xero is hosted with Rackspace in Texas.

About Valar Ventures

Valar Ventures is a global venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel. Based in San Francisco, Valar invests exclusively in companies outside of the United States. Valar believes that over the next decade an increasing number of transformative technology companies will be started outside of the US, and that the founders of those companies will benefit from having a US partner that understands their unique challenges and opportunities and can help them access US networks.

About Matrix Capital Management

Matrix Capital Management is an investment adviser registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is based in Waltham, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. Founded in 1999 by David E. Goel and Paul J. Ferri, the fund primarily invests in publicly traded equity securities with a focus on developing a deep and detailed "bottom-up" analysis of each company in its portfolio. Under Mr. Goel's stewardship as the Managing Member, Matrix takes the long view of investing. This strategy involves developing high conviction in companies based on its particularized research into their fundamentals, and combining that knowledge with a differentiated understanding of the sectors in which they do business. Over its fourteen-year investment history, Matrix has specialized in companies that use technology to disrupt or disintermediate business models, while cultivating specialized experience in the technology, media/telecom, and consumer sectors.

Within the technology sector, Matrix has been extensively involved in several sub-segments: software-as-a-service, cloud infrastructure, payments, e-commerce, social media, mobile data, and streaming video. Over the last two decades, the Matrix investment team has built relationships with executives and entrepreneurs in these areas who help Matrix identify and evaluate potential investment opportunities. Matrix's strategy is to invest in a concentrated portfolio of attractively-valued companies whose innovative ideas, strong fundamentals, and visionary management teams position them to grow over multiple years. Matrix invests a significant amount of time and resources in developing high conviction in each of its positions, holding to a deliberate strategy designed to generate strong, durable returns over time.

This above information about Matrix Capital Management does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

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