Pushpay delivers in every way but diversity
Mobile payments company Pushpay delivered an outstanding result this week - annual revenue was up 40% to US$98.4 million and the company turned a profit for the first time since it was founded 2011. As many business commentators have observed, it was a fitting send-off for CEO and co-founder Chris Heaslip, who announced he is leaving the position at the end of the month.
Pushpay is arguably the best performer out of the tranche of tech companies that listed on the NZX in latest 2014. It is, as the NBR noted today, "proof that software-as-a-service companies can be successful", and it shows how New Zealand tech companies can foot it overseas if they have a good idea, a well-designed product, and find the right market.
Heaslip told the NBR that 98% of Pushpay's revenue is from the US and that its market, American churches, is estimated to be worth $130 billion annually.
The numbers in the annual report presentation reveal a business that is going gang-busters. The Average Revenue Per Customer is US $1315 per month, with a total of 7,649 customers to the year 31 March 2019. The staff count is 389. While it's great to see tech jobs being created locally, it's also interesting to note that this is a relatively small number of people delivering a very impressive amount of revenue. Also, as the table below shows, sales and marketing outweighs product roles.
"While Pushpay increased operating revenue by 42% over the year to 31 March 2019, total operating expenses remained stable. As a percentage of operating revenue, total operating expenses improved by 28 percentage points, from 93% to 65%. Pushpay expects significant operating leverage to accrue as operating revenue continues to increase, while growth in total operating expenses remains low," the company's NZX release notes.
"Pushpay adopted best in class software tools and scalable processes early in its development. Combined with strong financial discipline, those investments will allow significant operating leverage to be achieved as revenue grows."
Pushpay's success is impressive and inspirational, but while its Annual Report celebrates the diversity of its staff, and its customers, unfortunately this isn't reflected in its leadership.
It would be great to see more diversity at this level, as the company reshuffles its board and senior leadership team following the resignation of Heaslip as CEO.
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