Venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprising both deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), is a serious and common cardiovascular disease associated with the risk of chronic complications, recurrent VTE events and even death. The treatment landscape has, in recent years, seen a paradigm shift from the use of traditional anticoagulants (low-molecular-weight heparin [LMWH] overlapping with and followed by a vitamin K antagonist [VKA]) to non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs). This class of agents, encompassing direct factor Xa inhibitors and direct thrombin inhibitors have shown non-inferior efficacy and better safety to standard of care in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The direct, oral factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban was the first to be approved for treatment of acute DVT and PE and secondary prevention of recurrent VTE events based on data from EINSTEIN DVT and EINSTEIN PE, respectively. Real-world evidence now helps to further support data from RCTs, and also bridges the gap for physicians regarding any areas of clinical uncertainty that may not be addressed by RCTs. XA inhibition with rivaroxaban for Long-term and Initial Anticoagulation in venous thromboembolism (XALIA) was the first large, prospective, observational, real-world study that has investigated the safety and effectiveness profile of rivaroxaban in patients with DVT and PE associated with DVT in routine clinical practice. This article will present the key clinical outcomes from this important global non-interventional study, and will discuss remaining questions to be addressed in Phase IV studies.