By Nancy Dahlberg
Lil Roberts, founder and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale fintech startup Xendoo, has always focused her startup on the small business segment. She was a small business owner herself so she knew the pain points first-hand, and one of the big ones was not having access to the numbers in real time. Xendoo’s solution is an intuitive cloud-based platform providing bookkeeping and tax services to small businesses via monthly subscriptions.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Xendoo team has been helping more than 600 small businesses nationwide navigate their bookkeeping challenges as well as others they faced, including navigating the Paycheck Protection Program. In response, Roberts has been busy building partnerships with startups and larger companies that offer services small businesses need.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the United States economy, and we’re always on the lookout for beneficial partnerships to provide them with what they need to succeed,” said Roberts. “Our team is an extension of our customers’ teams, and we’re happy to bring these partnerships to their financial toolkit as well.”
Xendoo partnered with Orlando-based Fattmerchant so that customers can take advantage of the integrated payment processor’s low fees. “Between Xendoo’s data-driven insights and Fattmerchant’s transparent, flat-rate credit card processing, small businesses looking to save money and scale up can find what they need with these female-led Florida-based companies,” said Mitchel Laskey, managing partner of DeepWork Capital, which is an investor in both companies.
Another company selected was Miami-based Biller Genie, which automates accounts receivable (A/R) from bill presentment to reconciliation. By integrating with Biller Genie, Xendoo now offers clients an easier way to collect, process and automatically reconcile payments in its accounting software. Roberts and Biller Genie CEO Thomas Aronica are both members of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) South Florida, and that helped pave the way for this partnership.
Roberts has been busy. Other partnerships include one with Cogent Bank, which helped Xendoo’s customers apply for and receive PPP loans when the major banks failed them, and one with MyCorporation to help customers with incorporation needs.
Before these latest developments, I caught up with Roberts recently to find out how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted Xendoo. Here’s what she had to say:
How has the coronavirus impacted Xendoo? And did you hold off on raising capital because of COVID?
Like all businesses, Xendoo has seen a change in our anticipated growth. We are grateful and lucky to have customers in businesses that are thriving during this time, such as e-commerce and online-based businesses. While we did see a dip in our projected growth, we are striving forward and continuing to evaluate additional revenue streams, focus on providing businesses our support, and giving access to their financials which they need more than ever during this time. We did not hold off on raising capital because of COVID as this was not on our roadmap for 2020.
What was the biggest challenge during the pandemic for you as a leader?
Keeping all team members rowing in the same direction. The kind of uncertainty a pandemic brings impacts team members on multiple levels – their job, their families, their entire lives. This has and will continue to be a daily mindful effort, helping teams stay focused and positive.
What was one or two of the positive developments this year for your company?
A huge positive development for us was widening our service offering to support QuickBooks online. Up until September 2020, Xendoo supported Xero online accounting software and now that we support both, we have much opportunity to extend our offerings to additional small businesses in need of speed to their financials.
More broadly, in your view what has the pandemic taught us as a tech as a local tech and startup community?
What we have always known has been reinforced – we must always stay nimble, we must be flexible, we must stay innovative. Startups need to continue exploring all revenue sources and they must respond quickly to customer needs.
What’s ahead for Xendoo in the coming year?
Growth is our goal! There are challenges in every decade when you look back over time. The ones who come through it the best are the companies that have teams that believe “nothing is impossible” and that “the sun will shine again”. At Xendoo, this is the core of who we are and we are wildly passionate about helping small business owners!
How big is your team now and are you currently hiring?
We are a team of 26 and hiring for customer success, accounting, and sales.
Photo at top of post is Lil Roberts in 2019, when she won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Miami.
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