Online money transfer company Xoom Corp. is coming off one of the hottest market debuts of the year.
The San Francisco-based company has had several years of rapid growth as it taps into the worldwide remittance market. Revenue jumped from $50 million to $80 million between 2011 and 2012. It is still not profitable, as it continues to reinvest the revenue in its business, but the company's losses remain stable.
According to figures in Xoom's prospectus, the international consumer money transfer market is expected to grow to $685 billion by 2015, up from $513 billion in 2011. Xoom's transfers nearly doubled to $3.2 billion in 2012.
Investors include Silicon Valley mainstays Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates, and it has raised at least $58.2 million in venture financing, according to securities filings. A month after its $100 million IPO, shares are up 50 percent.
THE QUICK BIO
Christopher Ferro, Xoom's general counsel, originally went to law school to "do the whole Perry Mason thing."
After graduating from Stanford with a history degree, the New York City native went to Georgetown University Law Center. He joined what was then Rosenman & Colin doing general commercial litigation right out of law school.
In 1999 Ferro went to the New York firm Davis & Gilbert for two years where he focused on intellectual property litigation. (Xoom advertises heavily, including on posters at corner stores and commercials during soccer games, with Davis & Gilbert handling the legal work.)
Ferro's original plan was to do a turn as a federal prosecutor to get trial experience before settling full time into private practice.
While at Davis, though, he began an existential re-evaluation of his career path: Maybe he didn't want to be a litigator; maybe he didn't want "work his tail off for nine years just to possibly make partner." Maybe he liked the idea of only having one client.
Ferro settled on going in house, but as a young lawyer with no transactional experience, he was at a disadvantage. He started thinking about younger companies that needed someone to manage litigation.
In 2001, right after the dot-com crash, Ferro joined PayPal as the company's second attorney on a referral from a fellow Stanford alum. He came aboard six months before its IPO and a year before it was acquired by eBay Inc. "I left this stable New York firm job for an in-house dot-com position in the Bay Area. People in New York thought I was insane," he said.