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Xero moves into business lending with acquisition of Waddle

Xero moves into business lending with acquisition of Waddle

Accountancy platform Xero has acquired invoice financing firm Waddle for A$31 million.

Founded in Australia in 2014, Waddle’s lending platform allows banks and fintechs to lend to small businesses by using their accounting data and automating many of the manual processes typically involved in invoice financing.

Waddle has existing agreements with banks and lenders in Australia and the UK. Alongside its core lending platform, Waddle also operates a small direct lending portfolio used primarily for product development purposes.

Xero says the acquisition positions it to partner with lenders globally, to better serve small businesses’ working capital and other financial needs.

Xero CEO Steve Vamos comments: “The acquisition of Waddle is an important step in our strategy to help small businesses better manage cash flow and gain access to working capital. Waddle’s lending platform has the potential to enable a wide range of banks, fintechs and other lenders to better support small business financial needs. We’re excited about the benefits Waddle can bring to many of our customers and banking partners.”

With an upfront cash payment of $31 million and subsequent earnout payments based on product development and revenue milestones, of up to A$49 million, the total potential consideration for the purchase is A$80 million. Any earnout payments are expected to be settled 50 in ordinary shares in Xero and 50 in cash.

Completion of the transaction is expected before the end of calendar year 2020.

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