36 billion

Today alongside our annual results we announced Xero has processed in excess of $35 billion of transactions – $36,742,064,684.47 to be exact!

Frankly the number amazed us when we saw it. We think it’s an important number as it shows that online business systems are well past the start up phase. SaaS is being adopted and has become an important part of the FinTech industry.

What could you do with that sort of money? To help put $36,742,064,684.47 into perspective it’s enough to buy LinkedIn several times over (a few less than yesterday), produce Avatar 96 times, or produce 100 solid gold elephants – the big kind.

Thank you all for entering the competition, we had an interesting range of guesses and strategies. A wedding anniversary – awww, “the highest number thus far, plus $1”, and excuse the pun, 0.

We had 307 entries, 45% of entries were in the billions, 10% overshot the mark and the highest being $890,990,998,998,900.99 ($891 trillion) – or more than ten times the worlds GDP, we’re not there yet but watch this space!

The winning guess was $35 billion via Twitter from Adam Roland from Auckland, New Zealand. We’ll be in touch to get your engraved Apple iPad out to you – congratulations.


Ben Wood
May 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

Well done Xero. It amuses me that the non SaaS products can’t even measure the equivalent figure processed in their software

Pat Tiata
May 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

well done Xero, we have just started using Xero and find it really good. Bank feeds awesome. should have done the change over to Xero when it was first recomended last year.

Jan Strijker
May 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Well done Adam, congrats! I am jealous.

Congrats Xero on developing a great product.
I am definitely a fan. Still not sure how we managed previously!

May 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I demand a recount !

May 27, 2011 at 6:50 am

Great stuff, but as awesome as Xero is, people under estimate how awesome gold is too.

The average African elephant weights 4.6 tonnes (4.6m grams). Density of elephants = ~1.0 (they can swim, so they float), density of gold (19.3 = 19.3x an elephant). Gold price = US$48/gram. = NZ$60/gram. Total for 100 elephants = ~$532 billion. So the answer is 7 elephants. :)

Shane Rich
May 30, 2011 at 7:02 pm

This is a disgrace. You are accessing our data and broadcasting it. What gives you the right to do this to our private accounts?

Rod Drury
May 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

@Shane Glad someone raised this issue. We really thought about this and concluded that it was reasonable to aggregate the numbers at a very high level as it’s interesting to know and this particular measure is clearly displays no private data. It’s similar to our customer count that we publish regularly.

It’s common industry practice to provide broad metrics and insights on aggregated data and we have seen minimal, if any, complaints across the companies we track. We monitor this closely.

Given the guesses we had I think that size of the data being transacted now is SaaS system was a surprise to many and this was a useful number to surface.

A vision we have is to go further and provide opt-in anonymous benchmarking. That is a much more sensitive issue which we’ll canvas well in advance and our customers will opt-in for. It is something we get asked for all the time. Part of this exercise was to see what people thought as this is the first time we’ve done it.

We expect there will be some people that are completely uncomfortable with any of this and happy for you to air your point of view.

Our intuition is that benchmarking done right will be very valuable. Keen to hear others thoughts.

So we think ‘disgrace’ is a bit strong and I hope our sensitivity to using data is comforting.


Richard Perfect
May 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I think the anonymous benchmarking would be quite valuable. With a bit of thought and sensitivity it would be very valuable to benchmark one small business against base metrics of similar businesses in the same sector. For example if I had a Florist it would be valuable to see where I was tracking against other Florists.

There’s tons of aggregated financial data available. For example if you’re a ANZ or NBNZ customer I can tell your deposits are part of the 311 billion that the ANZ hold from 2mins of surfing through their annual report.

June 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

Benchmarking could be good, but again, Xero would be leveraging on data provided by their customers for free much like a consumer survey. Therefore I would expect an incentive for those users providing their data ‘anonomously’. Xero may want to charge for the service to recoup their effort. Perhaps if benchmarking data was provided by a customer, they should receive the yardstick measures for free.

I too have concerns on the access of customer data by a company to leverage for more profit. I will be keeping an eye on notifications of any changes to the privacy policy, at least Facebook taught me something!

Rod Drury
June 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Hi Jim,

Benchmarking can only be opt-in and if we create value for our customers to do so. Our work around address verification and Reporting Codes is building the foundation for these sort of services in the future.

Bit a work to do yet but we see this as a natural direction that Cloud based solutions will get to.


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