Home People Southern Payments Unicorn Brings In Chief Growth Officer From Fiserv to “Double Revenue”

Southern Payments Unicorn Brings In Chief Growth Officer From Fiserv to “Double Revenue”

by Holly Beilin

Payments technology platform AvidXchange, one of the few southeastern companies valued at over a billion dollars, has pulled in a Chief Growth Officer with 25+ years experience growing fintech revenue streams and sales. Dan Drees, most recently of Fiserv, will be responsible for the go-to market of AvidXchange’s products, expanding into new industry verticals and, in his own words, preparing to double their revenue in two years.

Charlotte-based AvidXchange provides a platform for mid-size businesses to automate the entire accounts payable (AP) process, streamlining every step from submitting orders to vendors and suppliers, to receiving invoices electronically and paying them.  For vendors, it also accelerates the invoice process, helping them get paid faster.

In this way, AvidXchange is really a workflow system with a payment transaction at the end. 

“You’ve got all those payment types and you’ve got all that paper and all that fraud risk — It’s just a problem for CFOs and controllers who really don’t want to spend their time on AP,” says Drees. “They want to be thinking about how they’re managing their balance sheet and what their cash flow looks like. These things are a nuisance that we have to get off their plate.”

“The payment side is just a super important last step in that whole workflow.”

AvidXchange has already been growing quickly, seeing over 50 percent revenue growth from 2014 to 2016. The Deloitte Fast 500 and North Carolina Technology Association top software company raised its most recent funding round in 2015 with a $225 million financing led by Bain Capital Ventures.

Drees says they have doubled their headcount over the last two years, hitting 1,000 employees last year. With his sales goals, he wouldn’t be surprised if it doubled again in the next two.

“The idea of the Chief Growth Officer is helping us to knit [all of our products and partners] together in a more thoughtful way that allows us to scale again and double again. That’s really the mission and the mandate for the CGO role,” he explains. 

Drees also worked at GE, Bank of America, Ally and Capital One, dealing with clients from small, young startups to Fortune 500s.

“We have lots of new opportunities to get the solution in front of more people. We’re also focused on new vertical segments. We’re very strong in real estate and some of the emerging markets, like construction as well as not-for-profit, are really interesting to us — we’re getting a lot of traction there.”

“When I look ahead to the next 12 months, if I just focused in those areas, there’s plenty of fuel to get to that 2X number,” Drees says.

The company is also exploring new products, such as a B2B payments hub being developed with partner MasterCard. At the end of last year they also acquired a cloud-based purchasing solutions company, which they’ll continue to scale up.

Drees, who has lived in Charlotte for over a decade, says that he’s been watching AvidXchange’s success with interest. 

Being in Charlotte it’s kind of hard to not notice companies like Avid who do really innovative things,” he shares. “Knowing that there’s a very few number of unicorns in the U.S. — I think 90 percent of them are in Silicon Valley — it’s kind of hard not to pay attention to one of the few that is in Charlotte.”

That status and their reputation — they’re also consistently voted one of the best places to work in Charlotte — helps them attract talent in a city that isn’t as well-known for technology as said Silicon Valley or even their neighbors in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park or Atlanta. Drees says they often tap the talent that flocks to the city for their strong financial services ecosystem.

“That translates, I think, directly to fintech, especially on the product and marketing and payments side. So that’s good news. And then the second thing, being in that rare air as a unicorn we really do leverage that in our local market.”

He also suggests that the fintech ecosystem as a whole in Charlotte is coming into its own. The city is home to one of the only fintech-focused accelerators in the country — the only one in the southeast — Queen City Fintech.

“It really seems like there is a new momentum in the city around fintech,” says Drees. “We’re not where Atlanta is today, but it feels like things are different. At Avid, we feel proud that we just get to be part of that and continue to do whatever we can to to nurture it.

Photos via AvidXchange

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