PayPal founder and early Facebook investor and board member Peter Thiel has invested NZ$4 million (that’s about $3 million USD) in online accounting software company Xero to support its expansion into the US market.
Thiel, who manages a hedge fund called Clarium Capital, will also join Xero’s US Advisory Board.
Xero says it began developing opportunities in the United States market in March 2009 when the company appointed Andy Lark to be the first member on the Xero US Advisory Board. Lark is Senior VP of Global Marketing for Large Enterprises at Dell.
In January 2010, Xero entered an arrangement with US based personal financial management and payments solutions firm Yodlee to provide automated daily bank account feeds into Xero’s online accounting solution.
The investment in Xero will be made through Valar Ventures (website not live yet), Thiel’s New Zealand investment firm – Xero is headquartered in Wellington. The Xero placement is the firm’s inaugural investment.
The placement is expected to close next week and will be priced at NZ$1.4918 – the volume-weighted average share price of Xero over the thirty trading days prior to 20 October 2010.
Xero provides online accounting software and services for small and medium businesses. It includes a full accrual accounting system with a cashbook, automated daily bank feeds, invoicing, debtors, creditors, sales tax and reporting. Xero is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with over 100,000 users and paying customers in more than 50 countries. Xero is most active in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the company is forging a presence in North America. Xeroâ€™s Software as a Service...
Peter is Clarium Capital’s President and the Chairman of the firm’s investment committee, which oversees the firm’s research, investment, and trading strategies. He is also a managing partner at The Founders Fund. Before starting Clarium, Peter served as Chairman and CEO of PayPal, an Internet company he co-founded in December 1998 and was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002. Prior to founding PayPal, Peter ran Thiel Capital Management , the predecessor to Clarium, which started with...