When the Magic Came: How Xpenser’s Web App Turned into Startup Gold

2/22/12Follow @bvbigelow

As San Diego’s point man for Xconomy, I must say I admire the xtremely hip name of Xpenser, a startup that helps people track and manage their work-related expenses.

Founder Parand “Tony” Darugar tells me the basic concept of the company came to him out of necessity in 2008, while he was a Yahoo director of architecture on “Panama,” a project that overhauled Yahoo’s advertising systems after the $1.6 billion Overture Services acquisition. Darugar says he was overseeing teams in San Diego, Sunnyvale, CA, and the Los Angeles area, so he was traveling a lot. His airfares, hotel bills, and other expenses were piling up. But Darugar says he continually put off his personal expense reports because there was a general sense of urgency surrounding the project.

Over one six-month period of procrastination, Darugar says he accumulated more than $30,000 worth of unreimbursed expenses.

Darugar confides that his wife, a financial planner, didn’t exactly give him a high-five for his personal record. Still, he says that point marked the beginning of Xpenser. In addition to clearing his backlog of expenses, Darugar created a Website for tracking his personal expenses and wrote a mobile app that enabled him to send a text message on his BlackBerry as he incurred each expense. For example, he could send himself a message saying, “$60 for taxi from airport to hotel.”

His concept was to immediately send himself the pertinent information about his business trip expenses while they remained fresh in mind, instead of trying to remember the details weeks or months later.

Darugar says his friends and co-workers asked to join the system, and he added more features to the Website over time. “I started doing it to scratch my own itch, and the Website just kept growing.” When he described what … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • http://fashioningchange.com/ Adriana

    A great product with a great team! Congrats on the growth Parand.

  • http://www.roohi.wrfa.com Roohi

    This is an awesome product that I have been using and recommending for few years now. I especially love it around this time of the year when everyone is scrambling to get their taxes done, All I have to do is to go over my chart of accounts, nicely organized in Xpenser, use the data or shoot out a report to my CPA.

    As a business owner I love the ease of use of tracking my expenses, taking a picture and be done with that expense.

    This is a very efficient and intelligent product that I highly recommend.

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