10 days ago, we entered and new decade. Think about that for a second. It means, that I can look back at another decade with substantial progress and growth for Acubiz. I’m very proud of the fact, that we’ve built a long track record with development and delivery of a truly value-adding expense management solution. Today, it’s a solution that serves customers and their users all over the world. Now, our track record covers multiple decades, and you’ll have search the market very hard to find a similar level of experience within our field. This is just one of the factors, that makes Acubiz unique.
Business growth… again
2019 has, once again, been characterized by growth at Acubiz. When we, at some point soon, publish our numbers, we’ll report a solid topline growth. During the year, we’ve added almost 190 new customers to our portfolio – it’s a 25 % growth compared to the year before. As always, I’m both proud and humble every time a customer trust Acubiz as their partner, when the process related to travel and employee expenses needs to be digitized and lifted to a whole new performance level. The growth of the customer base means that we now have more than 175.000 active users of Acubiz.
Strategic partnerships and stamp of approvals
I’m quite confident that we’re on the radar in many places, qua our deep experience and expertise with expense management. We’ve had that confirmed many times during 2019, and I’ll take the opportunity the highlight a few of the good stories:
We entered a strategic partnership with Nordea – the largest financial services group in the Nordics. It’s a partnership, where we, together with and Nordea, has developed a package with both Nordeas First Card company credit cards and the Acubiz software. This package is offered to Nordeas business clients. The fact that Nordea has chosen us, as their partner within this area is a solid approval of Acubiz – both of our solution, but also of the way that we run our business.
We’ve been around for quite some time now, hence we’ve seen examples of customers who, after some years with Acubiz, choose to try out other solutions. It can, for example, be an expense module from the ERP provider, basic expense functionality in the salary system or other (and perhaps cheaper) alternatives in the market. However, during 2019, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming back multiple former customers to Acubiz. We see that they simply miss some of the functionality, user experience, security and stability that they were used to with Acubiz. I also see this as an approval of our approach.
U.S. based International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets has, in 2019, conducted a comprehensive vendor assessment of the dominant players within the global market for travel expense solutions. Acubiz was included and has been named a “Major Player” in the report. Again, this is an approval of solutions and company.
Development and security
On the development front, we’ve also released loads of improvements to the application – both to the mobile-app and to the web-app. Especially the end-users has gained access to features, that’ll make it faster and more simple to handle tasks related to expenses.
In 2019, we also started to democratize digital expense management. We did that with the launch of Acubiz Professional – a single-user version of Acubiz’ mobile-app, that can be downloaded and used by anyone. The solution gives access to basic handling and digitization of business-related expenses as well as digital mileage tracking. We’ve developed the solution to cover the requirements of small businesses, independent contractors, freelancers and volunteers, but it can also benefit employees in larger organizations, who doesn’t have access to a digital expense management tool. The growth in users on this solution has accelerated in Q4.
We also do a significant amount of ongoing development, that our users don’t see in terms of functionality, features and design. This is all the development, that’s related to data security. As cloud-based software has become the preferred platform for most vendors, the issues around security has equally become increasingly important. At Acubiz, we’re serious about this. In fact, we’re very serious about it, because large amounts of customer data are handled through Acubiz daily. And let make it clear, that, for a software vendor, it’s not a one-off project to establish a strong security setup. No, it’ll need ongoing maintenance and development – because also in this area, changes are happening rapidly. That’s why we’re continuously investing substantial resources within this area, and data security is an important element in our product strategy – it’s been like that for many years. It means that our operational environment and hosting setup is kept up to date, so that we deliver according to the highest security standards and that all internal as well as external facing processes is documented and meets current legal requirements. Processing of personal data according to GDPR is also covered by these measures. All of this is subject to an annual external audit. This audit forms the basis for our ISAE 3402 Type II certification.
The year in front us and the next decade
When I look ahead, I see great opportunities for Acubiz. We’ll continue our work to set new standards for expense management and deliver on our promise to help businesses simplify their administrative tasks.
To support this work, on the organizational plan, it’s a pleasure that I can present a new board of directors. Going forward, two very capable individuals, Susanne Brønnum and Peter Max, will form the new board together with Henrik Malling and I. Susanne has extensive experience from numerous executive positions at Nets together with involvement in innovative Fintech start-ups, as founder of Smart Payments and co-founder of Copenhagen Fintech among others. Peter also carry valuable experience from the IT-sector, with executive positions at Apple, Microsoft, TDC and ZyXEL behind him. As of today, Peter hold the position as Chairman of the Board at Acubiz.
I’m very happy that Susanne and Peter have accepted the task and I warmly welcome both to our company. Well, to continue where I left earlier in this blog, it’s yet another approval of Acubiz, that these two business profiles have agreed to work with us. This change also means that Johnny Askevig and Mogens Bæk Christensen will step down from the board. I would like to thank Johnny and Mogens for their effort and contribution over the recent years.
On the development side of things, we’ll focus our resources on creating even tighter integrations to all the systems, applications and tools that our customers use in co-existence with Acubiz. This covers everything from payment solutions to ERP and salary systems. In addition, we’ll take several of our features to the next level – including next generations of our Invoice Management module and our Time module. Additionally, we’ll enhance the RPA functionality in our solution, primarily centered around the Company Policy Manager module. Finally, we plan to refine our approach to on-boarding and data export.
At Acubiz, we work, day in and day out, to rethink administrative processes, so that people and businesses can release resources to help them achieve their goals. This work will continue undaunted throughout 2020.