According to Xolo’s CEO Allan Martinson there are around 45 million people in the world that have chosen the life of a freelancer and the global freelance market is around a four trillion dollar business. Just recently Xolo launched its microbusiness platform in Spain with the aim to open in five more European countries by next year. In order to grow Xolo is moving towards Series B funding and is looking for potential investors.
Location independence has seen a massive growth
Just as the pandemic was creating a global havoc Xolo was preparing for tough times to arrive. Allan Martinson said that at first they predicted losing a quarter of their ex-pat, location-independent and nomadic freelancers and that massive problems will occur but to his delight none of that happened.
In the first five months of 2021 Xolo has seen that the average billing of their customers has grown 29%. Location-independent and a freelancer lifestyle are one of the few good things that have come out of the pandemic. However, according to Xolo, freelancers (or solopreneurs as they like to call them) are five times less efficient in their administrative tasks compared to average corporations. The reason being that business administration takes up a lot of time.
This is where Xolo comes in. Xolo provides everything a solopreneur needs so they can focus on their work – full accounting service, tax compliance, legal agreements, banking and payments etc. Martinson says their goal is to minimise business administration time for solopreneurs ten times. You can think of Xolo as business engine as-a-service. The company has over 80 000 clients all over the world.
Looking for investors
Xolo raised 3,9 million dollar venture capital investment in mid-June with the aim to expand the company in the markets that they have established themselves already. They will start off with Spain where they are offering a new service for sole traders (autonomo in Spanish).
“Right now our strategy is to move from country to country to offer localised solutions there. The list of countries we are considering at the moment consists of Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece,” said Martinson.
One of the reasons why the list consists only of Western-European countries lies in the fact that most of Xolo’s global products clients are from these countries. But according to Martinson the main reason is that it’s hard for solopreneurs in those countries to offer their services in a timely and cost-effective way.
“There are less obstacles on the way of the freelancers who are located in the countries situated north from Germany. Spain was on our mind because we had a critical mass of employees from there,” he added.
Martinson confirms that expanding into Spain is a good way to open doors into Central and Southern America but at the time of writing of this article Xolo does not have any imminent plans to expand across the pond. Then again the decision to expand into Spain came around five months ago so things can always take a different turn quickly.
Martinson, with the help of his colleagues, will start to move towards raising Series B investment in September with plans to announce the closing of it around the turn of the year.
When speaking about Xolo’s biggest success Martinson takes a minute to think and says that he is most proud of the work that the team has made in the scalability of the business they offer.
He is referring to the fact that Xolo, previously known as LeapIn, started as a company focusing on Estonian e-residents back in 2015 and over the years they have expanded the portfolio so it could be useful for not just only Estonian e-residents.
Martinson was one of the participants of “Unicorn59 – demo-minutes powered by Estonia”, where seven CEO’s or founders introduced their startups to potential investors. Click here to watch a fireside chat with Maarja Pehk, the CEO of Latitude59 and Martin Villig, President of Estonian Founders Society and Co-Founder of Bolt, startup pitches and a short movie of how to spot a unicorn.
If you are interested in investing in Xolo or some other Estonian startup, feel free to contact us via e-Consulting in order to schedule an appointment with one of our investment advisors. We will gladly help you on your journey to start building your own unicorn in Estonia.