Xref (ASX:XF1) acquires employee engagement platform, Voice Project, to compete with incumbent unicorns

PR NewsWire | Nov 23 2022

SYDNEY , Nov. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Global HR tech platform Xref (ASX:XF1) has acquired employee engagement technology company Voice Project in a move that will allow it to compete with incumbent unicorns through a newly complete hire-to-retire solution for employers.

Xref CEO and Founder Lee-Martin Seymour
Xref CEO and Founder Lee-Martin Seymour

The acquisition will drive Xref’s revenue forward by a forecast $4 million, increase its global headcount from 85 to 100, and open up Voice Project’s 944 not-for-profit, private, and public clients to Xref’s existing complementary suite of products.

Xref is also now able to introduce Voice Project’s suite of services to its global client community of 1,300 enterprise clients and 15,000 users.

Voice Project customers now include HammondCare, Hungry Jacks, 236 community service organisations and 70 universities and research institutes

Over the last decade, Voice Project has become highly profitable and developed a full suite of data-driven customer engagement surveys, including Leadership 360, onboarding, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, exit, and pulse surveys.

It has also developed a series of industry benchmarks that allow companies to compare their service quality to their peers, driving continuous business improvement to both individual organisations and the broader sector.

Voice Project has engaged with over 3.75 million people via these surveys, conducted over 3,070 projects by experienced workplace psychologists, has a 99 percent client satisfaction rating on a rolling five-year average, and enjoys a +78 net promoter score (well above the +62 industry average).

Xref will now proceed to integrate the Voice Project portal containing this comprehensive suite of market-leading surveys into its own "Xref Engage" platform, so employers can view every single piece of information about a candidate, employee, or ex-employee in the one place, and identify any actionable insights.

Xref CEO and Founder, Lee-Martin Seymour, said: "This acquisition is an important step towards Xref’s goal of becoming the leading global hire-to-retire employee feedback platform and is a great example of two profitable and credible Australian technology businesses uniting to be more competitive in the global market.

"The complementary nature of the two firms and the huge value in the resulting end-to-end product for employers will allow Xref to compete alongside other leading global players in the engagement survey category.

"This is a true win-win for all involved. Xref will now offer a complete hire-to-retire engagement service for employers that is more comprehensive than most other well-known brands, and we will be the only one covering 195 countries. Voice Project’s IP, database, and technology are second to none, and its senior management has remained at the helm for decades. It is a profitable and highly credible business, with particular strengths in benchmarking, survey design and reporting, and a number of other great technology assets that will now be integrated into the Xref platform."

Voice Project Founder and Director, Dr Peter Langford, said: "We are so excited to see the value of our survey technology and client base being recognised by a global leader like Xref. We couldn’t be happier to help create the world’s only complete end-to-end solution for employers.

"Employers develop such a plethora of important staffing information right from the moment an applicant contacts them, all the way through to that employee retiring or moving on. Until now, the solutions for harnessing this data have been fragmented and have almost always resulted in lost or incomplete employee information. Not anymore."

Xref Chairman, Tom Stianos, said: "While the Voice Project acquisition is forecast to be EPS accretive to our shareholders, the more significant benefits are that it completes our product portfolio (hire-to-retire strategy), provides cross-sell opportunities, and accelerates our growth. I look forward to Peter Langford joining the Xref leadership team."

Xref will use its own cash surplus to fund the acquisition and sees this as a significant investment into growth and long-term profitability.

Xref (www.xref.com, ASX:XF1) is a global reference checking and identity verification platform that empowers organisations worldwide to make great people decisions. In our demand-driven world, trust has never been more important. Xref empowers great recruitment decisions with a platform businesses can trust to verify their hires, and candidates can rely on to help them reach their potential. We remove the distraction of manual processes, deliver insights that inform decision-making and put essential tools at the fingertips of every business looking to build the best team, globally.

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