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How Figured found a global market through Xero’s app marketplace

Posted 6 months ago in Apps by Kaye Harding
Posted by Kaye Harding

Xero’s app marketplace has over 700 apps which help small businesses and their advisors reach their goals. Each month we celebrate an app partner who really stands out for helping small businesses thrive.

Introducing Figured, our December app partner of the month

Modern day farming is a complex business. With farmers needing to understand everything from animal health to environmental sustainability, the addition of finance and accounting makes life for farmers busier than ever.

Enter Figured, the online software providing farmers with a better way to financially manage their farming operation through smart forecasting, planning and budgeting. After launching at Xerocon Auckland in 2015, Figured found themselves with delighted clients, consistent 5-star reviews on Xero’s app marketplace and industry recognition.

Figured CEO Dave Dodds says the experience of being an app partner in Xero’s ecosystem has been hugely rewarding.

“We’ve been in the Xero ecosystem since day one and in the app marketplace since it was launched. We’ve worked closely with the Xero ecosystem and go-to-market teams to develop a joint sales and marketing strategy which delivers value on both sides of the partnership.”

It’s not uncommon for farmers to have substantial debt, driven by the need to continually modernise their operation. Despite this, financial planning and good financial management in farming has not always been a priority. It was this spot where Figured found their niche.

“By enabling farmers to access a real time view of their financial position and plan and collaborate with advisors and lenders, we’re empowering experts to be involved in major decision making.”

Andy Muir from Xero and James Higgie, Dave Dodds, Dow Dodds and David Kirby from Figured at Xerocon London 2018

Integrated with Xero from day one

Dave knows the effect being on Xero’s app marketplace has had.

“Working closely with Xero meant we could build a product with a strong joint proposition helping both accountants and farmers. We’ve been fortunate to have great partners along the way who share our vision.

“It was a huge call to make. We rebuilt the product on a new stack and refocused the solution on the combined needs of farmers, accountants and leaders.”

But that call was the right one, and has been a critical part of Figured’s journey ever since.

“It was a big call, but when we relaunched Figured at Xerocon Auckland in 2015 we were overwhelmed by the response from accountants. We had a crowded stand for the whole event and took away emerging app partner of the year.”

Global expansion and the power of partnerships

After the Xerocon relaunch, the Figured team embraced their technology stack and partnership strategy to stand out in the global market.

“Growing globally has always been an aspiration for us, having recently launched in the USA and UK we’ve been reminded how valuable it is to have strong in-market partnerships from the beginning. Our partnership with Xero has been hugely supportive and has helped us shape the product to be fit for market.

“When we step into new markets we work hard to make sure we can establish strong partnerships when we arrive. Working with Xero in these markets ensures we can help Xero reach new customers and vice versa.”

It’s this partnership-first ethos which Figured uses itself as well as providing to customers.

“A thriving ecosystem is one in which partnerships extend each others customer proposition mutually. Figured and Xero work well together as we create opportunities for Xero, Xero partners and extend the usability of Xero for their customers. Figured also relies on having a modern powerful accounting engine which keeps the customer’s financial plan up to date.”

Finding customers through Xero

“Xero provide us great support in all markets” says Dave. “We’ve been able to build strong relationships and have worked together to identify and capitalise on new opportunities.”

Xero’s app marketplace has been one of the strongest lead sources for Figured, and the team has made sure they’re making the most out of the partnership as possible.

“Figured provides farmers and their advisors a platform which enables them to collaboratively plan for the future, whatever the future may hold,” says Dave. “Xero’s accounting engine enables Figured to offer clients genuine advice backed by accurate financial data, while giving the customer visibility of where they are financially and where they are headed.”

Events are also a powerful marketing and engagement tool for Figured – Dave considers these events highlights on the global calendar. “These are highpoints in our relationship with Xero, providing opportunities for us to present our joint proposition with Xero to accountants and farmers.”

On the horizon

When asked what’s next for Figured, Dave reiterates constant innovation and strategic partnerships are key.

“We are always working to improve the Figured platform to make planning an easier and more rewarding experience for farmers and their customers and as we build our customer base we are able to begin to build products which utilise the depth of our database.”

More updates and iterations are constantly being rolled out across the platform as Figured identify needs for existing and potential clients.

“We just launched benchmarking for dairy, sheep and beef farmers. This is an industry-first real time benchmark which enables our accounting partners to show their clients how they measure up against other farms in their regions.”

The future looks bright for Figured – they’ve won multiple Xerocon awards including the 2015 Emerging App Partner in New Zealand; the 2016 Industry Specific Partner of the Year across New Zealand and Australia; the 2017 App Partner of the Year across New Zealand and Australia and most recently the 2018 Industry Specific Partner of the year in the United Kingdom. They’ve also been recognised at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards winning Start up of the year in 2017 and was a Deloitte fast 50 rising star the same year.

Dave finishes off with more plans for the future.

“Hopefully, more awards!”

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