There is still no end in sight for the summer of the mega-deals for fintechs.
After large investment rounds have been concluded for the neobroker Trade Republic and the Insurtech Wefox from Berlin, the Danish financial start-up Pleo is now following.
The company raised $ 150 million, as it announced on Tuesday, bringing it to a valuation of $ 1.7 billion.
It is the first Danish fintech unicorn.
This is the name given to startups with a valuation of more than a billion dollars.
The new financing round was led by the two large US venture capitalists Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital, which have also invested in other large start-ups such as LinkedIn and Lemonade.
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The Copenhagen-based fintech Pleo, according to its own statements, offers a complete solution for corporate spending primarily to small and medium-sized companies with up to 1000 employees.
Specifically, employees, for example, receive their own company expense cards with which they can pay for purchases for work or official train travel and flights.
Employees can also simply photograph receipts with their smartphones and save them in the app - the company advertises: no more annoying paperwork.
The invoices are then categorized digitally.
Companies can set spending limits on the cards.
The expenses themselves are tracked and saved in real time in an app.
The Pleo app can also be integrated into the accounting, so that the process of expenditure is to be completely automated.
It is about regaining control of the expenditure as an organization, says Pleo co-founder Jeppe Rindom in an interview with the FAZ Companies wasted a lot of time on expenditure management.
The idea came to him as head of finance in another company.
There were no individual cards for employees, so they occasionally used Rindom's card for various expenses.
Over time, however, he lost track of who had his card or which subscriptions were still on the company card.
The complexity was far too high, according to Rindom.
He wanted to solve the problem primarily from a payment perspective, and not from a software perspective like SAP does, for example.
Pleo isn't the only vendor entering the lucrative spend management market.
The French start-up Spendesk is currently also present in Germany with its own software.
As with Pleo, all expenses can be collected and tracked in one app.
The German provider pliant is also one of the competitors.
The companies pay 10 euros per month for each employee who uses the service to use Pleo.
That is not a lot of money, says Rindom, when you consider that you can save money equivalent to the monthly salary of an employee.
Pleo also offers smaller companies with five to ten employees free use of the platform with fewer functions.
The fintech Pleo, founded in 2015, now counts around 17,000 companies in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Spain among its customers. A total of 300 new companies are added every week, says Rindom. The largest market is currently still Great Britain - but they started earlier there - but Germany is already following behind. The German market in particular appears to be attractive; estimates are at least 3.5 million small and medium-sized companies in this country.
The money from the financing round is intended to be used for further growth and, among other things, to finance new hires. 330 employees currently work for Pleo - by the end of next year there should be 1,000. That should also be necessary if you want to achieve the extremely ambitious goals: by the end of 2025, the number of customers should increase to one million.Keywords: