Craig Winkler on a winner at NZ cloud-accounting software Xero which cracks the billion dollar mark in market cap

Winkler on a winner at Xero

March 16, 2013

Brian Robins

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Craig Winkler Photo: James Davies

II is more than most of us can expect to make in a lifetime, but entrepreneur Craig Winkler’s worth has risen a stunning $20 million just over the past week alone. Mr Winkler made his first $100 million from accounting software company MYOB and then put part of his gains into Xero, a start-up New Zealand rival, when he sold. With an internet cloud-based product, it claims to have a lower cost offering than its competitors. Xero listed on the stock exchange in October. Since then its share price has nearly doubled, surging 7 per cent on Friday to hit a record $8.60, before closing up 49¢ at $8.48. It first traded on the ASX around $4.50. It listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 2007. The rally in Xero’s share price has more than doubled Mr Winkler’s worth, even though the company is yet to make a dollar. He holds 16 million Xero shares after selling 2.5 million shares at $NZ6 in December, only to watch the share price surge. Part of the reason for the rally in recent weeks has been a series of product promotions in Australia, coupled with optimism about the incorporation of new product features.

But with Xero’s market valuation topping $1 billion on Friday, it seems investors are pricing in success not just in Australia, but in the US market as well, where it has established a presence. Last month Xero said monthly revenue was running at $NZ4 million ($3.2 million), up from December quarter revenue of $NZ10 million, with revenue in the year to March to double from the $NZ19 million booked last year. Xero is challenging market incumbents MYOB and Reckon in the Australian market. Since selling out of MYOB, Mr Winkler has spent most of his time working in the not-for-profit sector.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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