Key achievements for H1 FY22 included:
The loss for the Group for the financial half-year after providing for income tax amounted to $36,987 (H1 FY21: $1,987,182), an improvement of 98%.
Xref continues to execute a data-driven multi-channel marketing strategy generating 3,200 leads during H1 FY22, up 124% from the same period in the previous year.
Xref’s growth trajectory continued throughout H1 FY22. The first half is traditionally the Company’s lowest sales period due to seasonal fluctuations in the Australian recruitment industry following the financial year-end and the summer holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere. However, Xref achieved a record first-half revenue of $9 million, resulting in 74% growth compared to the same period last year.
The evolution of Xref’s business reflects the leadership team’s unwavering focus on achieving positive free cashflow.
Over the last four years, Xref has focused on ‘essential’ sectors such as healthcare, government, not-for-profit and education. Prior to the pandemic, 50% of all credit usage originated from these ‘essential’ sectors.
Credit usage by clients grouped in non-essential industries outpaced essential business recruitment demonstrating confidence in returning to normalcy, post-pandemic. Usage by clients in non-essential services grew by 103% on the previous half to $4.1 million, highlighting a return for many of these businesses to not only their prior recruitment levels but in many cases also exceeding their pre-pandemic levels.
Now, however, despite the tapering need for essential services, recruitment in these areas continues to grow 20% year on year.
As a marketing led, data-driven organisation, Xref continues to execute a data-driven multi-channel marketing strategy generating an increased number of inbound leads. B2B buyers are becoming increasingly reliant on reviews as a source of truth when considering a software purchase. Xref’s online brand presence continues to be strong and successful on platforms such as G2, Capterra and Google My Business. On G2’s review platform, Xref repeatedly ranks among the best SaaS in the reference check category, including Top 10 in ANZ. The most recent winter report saw Xref win seven badges for leadership, usability and relationships, ranking number one in usability.
During the pandemic, Xref has been successful in significantly increasing the digital acquisition of new clients, reducing reliance on traditional sales team outreach. Xref has improved all marketing metrics relating to effectiveness and lead generation with the continual optimisation of channels and marketing investment. Invoice value, client size, initial adoption and sales cycle periods have all improved as we continue to execute our digital marketing strategy and 3,200 leads were captured during H1 FY22 resulting in an 124% increase in lead flow over the same period in the previous year.
During the 6 months ending 31 December, Xref generated $2.3 million in cash from operations. After taking into account investment into product development as well as repayment of lease liabilities and debt servicing costs, the business generated free cash flow of $1.3 million (excluding the receipt of funds due to the exercise of warrants/options). This has been achieved due to the continued focus on attracting new clients via digital channels and a strong control on all expenses, all with a view to maintaining profitability.
Xref is working with some of its largest global clients to expand the current platform and develop the Xref Marketplace to support their future requirements. The enhanced platform will dramatically increase Xref’s global addressable market through the provision of additional services, allow for an entirely digital new client acquisition process and add a subscription-based recurring revenue to the current credit-based model.
A staged release of Xref’s new platform began during the half with the launch of the new ‘Exit Survey’ platform in November 2021 and will continue during the remainder of this financial year, including the launch of Xref Pulse surveys and Xref Marketplace.
During the half, Xref capitalised a proportion of internal and external development costs related to these new platform features.
As talent acquisition grows to become increasingly remote on a more permanent basis, automated reference survey’s, identity verification, and other pre-employment checks will continue to grow in demand. As a result, Xref Marketplace will be in a good position to broaden relationships with checking vendors for more integrated checks, increasing availability for the global marketplace of checks.
Talent remains on the move and employers are facing an extremely competitive market. Employees, many of whom may have stayed in ‘safe’ roles are now buoyed with confidence to make a transition to something new. Employers will face a need to move quickly to hire the best talent so having the right processes in place to make confident hiring decisions quickly has never been more important.
Similarly, the return of users in non-essential industries has grown above pre-pandemic levels reflecting business confidence in a positive period ahead. These trends are expected to drive further growth.
Xref will also continue to invest in growth through data-driven digital marketing with the self-serve initiative continuing to bring inbound leads. Through digital marketing, product innovation and leading customer service, Xref will continue to be a thought-leader and trusted partner to talent acquisition and HR teams globally.
The staged release of the enhanced platform, including Xref Pulse Surveys and Xref Marketplace will continue throughout the remainder of FY22. These new services will dramatically increase Xref’s global addressable market. In particular, this strategy is expected to grow Xref’s share of the North America market via channel partners, wholesale and self-serve subscription sales.
The strong finish to H1 FY22 together with the more recent rapid recovery from the Christmas period provide confidence for a promising second half. The Group expects geographic expansion will reduce seasonality in overall usage and along with the growing demand for additional pre-employment survey and checking services via the Xref Platform and connected Marketplace, Xref expects it will be able to maintain its achievement of a net profit after tax for FY22 along with cash flow profitability.
RapidID has grown over 2,000% since the group acquired the business in July 2019. Growth is expected to continue as demand in the KYC (Know Your Customer) sector such as online banking, crypto currency and betting platforms increases. Identity services provided to other checking partners as well as the Xref platform will provide RapidID additional growth. The newly built Webflow tool will reduce 3rd party costs and volume discounts will further reduce COGS, therefore increasing net revenues. In addition, the recently announced Graduate Verification Service offered by RapidID will add further revenue as retail and wholesale distribution grow.
Founder, CEO, Director
M: +61 439 576624
Xref is a reference checking and identity verification platform that empowers organisations worldwide to make great people decisions.
Xref’s fully automated online reference checking platform allows employers to request one or multiple references in minutes and receive fast, honest feedback within 24 hours. Xref also enables employers to know who a candidate really is with RapidID, Xref’s biometric identity verification solution.
Xref is the reference checking platform of choice globally. The company understands the talent and human resources markets and is currently working with some of the largest organisations in the world to develop new products that will provide unique employment insights.
In the future, Xref plans to extend its platform across the full hire to retire journey, dramatically increasing its addressable market and allowing organisations to reap the benefits of Xref across their businesses.
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Xref Limited: Suite 13, 13 Hickson Road, Dawes Point, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia