This is surely a first: a cloud app splitting from HQ to better serve a local market. Receipt scanning app Shoeboxed did just that last month.
Founder and CEO of the Australian arm, Simon Foster, has bought up the rights to the technology for Australian and New Zealand business owners in an amicable split from the US office.
“This was a mutual decision based on differing customer needs, which ultimately require quite different development priorities,” Foster said in a press release.
“The global market, and we’re mainly talking the US at the moment, has quite a different approach to tax reporting than Australia does. So, as of today, we’re back to running on the agenda of those most important to us – local Aussie and Kiwi accountants, bookkeepers and business owners.”
The first sign of independence is the release of Shoeboxed’s partner portal for accountants and bookkeepers. The portal helps accounting professionals manage their clients accounts and is similar in theme to the client manager in Xero’s adviser portal, Foster says.
The creation of an independent local entity has given Foster the free rein to build a more responsive company, Foster told me.
“It means we can be much more responsive to what the Australian market needs,” Foster says.
Shoeboxed Australia has hired four new executive roles including vice president of product, more operators and backroom staff and more developers. Foster plans to raise capital in the coming months to pay for rewriting chunks of the original app, first coded in 2007.
“Our point of difference (to other receipt scanning apps) is that we support every small business accounting package. We have customers that use MYOB AccountRight Live, Saasu, MYOB Essentials, Xero, QuickBooks Online, Reckon Accounts and Excel,” Foster says.
“However, the integrations we have are three years old and we’re looking to take those to the next level.” One big theme in the next round of development will be simplifying processes in Shoeboxed, Foster adds.
Shoeboxed Australia has licensed the source code from the US product which allows for modifications for the Australian market. The Australian tax regime requires more reporting (there are no quarterly returns or fringe-benefits reporting in the US).
“In the US, if you talked about work on a ski lift then (the ski holiday) is deductible,” Foster says. “In Australia it’s much more complex. It means we attack the markets differently.”
Taylor Mingos, CEO of Shoeboxed Inc, released a statement of support in the press release. “Simon has built a solid business in Australia, and he is perfectly poised to further tailor our technology to serve the Australian market. We’re excited to see where he takes it from here.”
Best of luck to Simon and the team.