Expense management has long been a pain point for employees and accounting departments: for many, tracking and analyzing how money is spent on behalf of a company is still hard to handle with more modern demands. Stuck in bad legacy software. Today, one of the startups building solutions to bring this process into the 21st century is announcing a major round of funding to double its growth.
Soldo, which provides a platform for issuing employees with prepaid company cards linked to an automated expense management system, has closed $180 million in funding. Soldo currently has some 26,000 customers, ranging from small to medium-sized businesses to mid-market enterprises, and large multinationals in 30 countries, including Mercedes Benz, GetYourGuide, Gymshark, Bowley and Brooks. them. Along with this, it also integrates via API With the popular accounting packages used by organizations today — With options to connect NetSuite, QuickBooks, Zucchetti, and Xero, Soldo to more than 50 expense management platforms including Concur and Expensify.
The round, A Series C, is being led by Temasek of Singapore, with Sunly House Capital, Advent International’s crossover fund, Citi Ventures and previous backers Accel, Battery Ventures and Dawn Capital also participating. Silicon Valley Bank also provided debt financing of an undisclosed amount.
Soldeau also didn’t disclose what its valuation is in a statement on this latest investment, but as a point of reference, when it began raising this money, back in December, the company was valued, according to data from PitchBook. was approximately $278 million. At the event, Soldou said the round was oversubscribed on the back of strong growth for the company: a $61 million round in 2019, a fourfold increase in the amount of spend on its platform since its Series B round.
More generally – and perhaps because many of us are spending more time away from the head office, or perhaps because some of us are finally on the road again to meet people – this time on expense management. Much attention is being paid. Earlier this month, Plio, one of Soldou’s bigger competitors, raised $150 million at a valuation of $1.7 billion.
It’s a huge market to play in: Europe’s addressable market for expense management is worth $170 billion, the company said.
The challenge that Soldow aims to fix is that spending is typically a very fragmented, non-digital business, and the employees who inflate expenses are usually not accountants: that is, getting them done correctly. Handling is not one of his core competencies. . Meanwhile, the expenses themselves have evolved to cover many different things, a by-product of everything that has become easier to buy online and also how we operate today: they include memberships, travel and entertainment, Office supplies for your home office may be included. and make purchases on behalf of your company for marketing campaigns or online advertising, etc.
When expenses are happening digitally, it’s easy to track them, but too often they’re for services or goods bought IRL, and that’s when other issues arise: people often forget to receive receipts. , or fill out your report before you lose them, or pay for things out of your own pocket, and much more.
And on top of that, spends are made on corporate cards, or via bank transfer. The former can be costly and difficult to control, while the latter has its challenges: it is a slow process and often requires several people to clear the payment.
Soldo’s approach to fix this is to first make it easier to issue cards, prepaid to employees so that they can better control spending on them. It then connects the card to an app, which creates automatic prompts that pop up every time you make a purchase with the card to remind you to capture and upload a receipt.
“Soldo’s vision is the management of total expenses across the breadth of a company, whether it is advertising, software subscriptions, travel and entertainment, vendor management or salaries across all payment methods. When we look at it this way, expense management has many potential uses. And the card is only one of the many ways a company can transfer money to suppliers,” Carlo Gualandri, CEO and founder of Soldeo, told ClearTips via email. Unlike competitors like Plio, he said , “We place a broader and more complete focus on managing all possible company needs, beyond travel and expenses. This is important because the value of using an expense management platform for the customer increases as a more significant portion of a company’s spending goes to it.
Without a doubt, the company’s growth since its inception five years ago hit a huge momentum in the form of Covid-19. Its recovery from this is a testament to how it has found a niche in the current market as well.
“The pandemic almost completely wiped out travel and expenses as a corporate spending use case – limited numbers of workers were traveling, or spending lunches, for example, in lockdown,” Gualandri said. he said. “In the first weeks of March last year, it was quite shocking to see entire Europe being locked down country after country as the lockdown locked people in their homes. And with that, a significant portion of our financial services revenue also disappeared because business travel is the most common and widespread use of corporate cards.” But then, two things happened, he continued:
“The number of other company spending use cases has increased significantly. We saw the global shift to e-commerce and the digitization of the finance department. A definite move towards online buying from employees working from home to other business activities And it requires a card for payment,” he said. “Also, many companies started distributing their products or services online and with that they marketed a major part of their spending online. An example of a major expense that is usually paid for using a card. So, there was certainly a case for some spending categories going down and others going up more quickly. Many problems related to the pandemic emerged that we felt we could solve. “
“Our experience in software and payments technology gives us deep insights and we believe Soldou is at the forefront of financial digitization,” Simon Lambert, director of crossover fund Sunly House, Advent International, said in a statement. “The company operates in a large and rapidly growing market, and we are thrilled to partner with its outstanding management team as they seek to partner with Europe’s leading payroll and spend automation platform.”