FreshBooks Acquires German FastBill As It Continues Global Expansion
FreshBooks continues its global ambitions, announcing the acquisition of Germany-based FastBill, described as one of the country’s leading cloud-based accounting and billing software companies.
Founded in 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany, FastBill specializes in online financial management for small businesses. FastBill currently has paying customers in 16 different countries across Europe.
âWe will continue to look for opportunities like this where we can enter new regions and new markets that are harder to reach. “
The 30 FastBill team members, including CEO and Founder RenÃ© Maudrich, will join the FreshBooks workforce and report to Dragana Ljubisavljevic, Senior Vice President of Markets recently hired by FreshBooks.
Maudrich will remain CEO of FastBill and take on the role of Managing Director of FreshBooks Germany, spurring expansion in the region. The FastBill team will remain at its current headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
With the purchase of FastBill, the acquisition extends the reach of FreshBooks. Currently, the Canadian unicorn of 571-person accounting software is headquartered in Toronto and offices in the United States, Netherlands, Croatia and Mexico.
Matt Baker, senior vice president of corporate development at Freshbooks, told BetaKit that according to FreshBooks research, FastBill is a market leader, if not the market leader, in terms of online invoicing and accounting online. Germany. FastBill’s territory covers not only Germany, but also Austria and part of Switzerland.
âThis absolutely brings us into the German market, which we wouldn’t do of our own accord at the same time,â Baker said. âIt speeds up our ability to enter the market and adds some very interesting technology. “
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Baker noted that currently, a big push is underway in the European Union around the digitization and regulation of the small business transaction space. Part of this encompasses the formats adopted for invoices, while part of the push concerns the regulation of sales taxes and how they are reported to governments.
âThis push towards digitalization is leading to more adaptation, which we are really excited about,â Baker said.
Both companies plan to expand into regions where the small business market is large and growing. In 2020, small and medium-sized enterprises represented 99% of businesses in the EU, employing two out of three jobs
While Baker said integrating two companies will always pose challenges, he spends a lot of time trying to prepare FreshBooks for success. For example, Baker implemented dual reporting so that FastBill employees have links to their management in FreshBooks, and by including FastBill employees in meetings at all levels of FreshBooks.
âThe roster was excellent and in many ways we consider them to be Germany’s FreshBooks,â said Baker.
In 2017, FastBill completed a Series A round for an undisclosed amount. FinLab and Coparion led the way.
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Baker said FreshBooks has a great strategic effort underway to become a global software player. âI believe acquisitions are a big part of the company’s history. I think we will continue to look for opportunities like this where we can enter new regions and new markets that are more difficult to reach with our own organic investments in the product, âhe said.
FreshBooks’ global ambition really took off in August after a $ 163 million funding round. The cycle also turned FreshBooks into a unicorn after surpassing a $ 1 billion valuation.
At the time of the fundraiser, CEO Don Epperson said, âWhat I wanted to do was make it a global organization to match our global client base.
Since its inception in 2004, FreshBooks has acquired a global customer base of over 20 million people in 160 countries. Prior to 2019, much of that international customer base did not promote FreshBooks in specific countries or offer locations such as local currency, according to Epperson.
In 2019, FreshBooks opened its first international office in the Netherlands. This followed in 2020 with the acquisition of Facturama, a company based in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which offers electronic invoice management for small businesses and startups. FreshBooks also has an office in North Carolina and a development hub in Croatia.