Spendesk is the fifth French startup to reach unicorn status this month


Spendesk, a fintech firm, has announced that it has secured an additional amount of funding in addition to its Series C investment. A total of $114 million (€100 million) has been invested in the firm by Tiger Global. Following today’s financing round, the firm claims that it has attained a value of more than $1.14 billion (more than €1 billion) due to the investment.

Spendesk is the next unicorn to emerge from the French IT sector for want of a better phrase. France has seen an increase in funding announcements in recent months. In only one month, five firms — PayFit, Ankorstore, Qonto, Exotec, and Spendesk — announced that they had passed the barrier to achieving unicorn status.

Additionally, Back Market, an e-commerce site specializing in refurbished cellphones and other items, has acquired massive funding and has been valued at $5.7 billion.

Let’s go back to Spendesk for a while. The startup provides a comprehensive corporate expenditure management tool for medium-sized businesses across Europe. Initial product offerings were limited to virtual cards for online payments, but as its product offering has grown, it now covers the whole spectrum of corporate expenditures.

The platform allows clients to buy real cards for workers, and team members can use it to pay overdue bills and submit expense reports. It also allows customers to manage budgets and create expenditure reports. Spendesk hopes to simplify accounting and approvals in general by providing everything in a single service, allowing money to flow more easily.

This means that Spendesk is no longer merely software that allows you to buy debit cards for your staff, but the company describes its platform as a “7-in-1 expenditure management solution.”

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In an interview with me, co-founder and CEO Rodolphe Ardant said, “We have had this ambition from the beginning — we genuinely want to become this platform, this operating system to control your expenditure.” We looked at each use case and devised the most appropriate process for it when we first began working on the product, says the team.

Spendesk, in particular, assists you in formalizing your internal business processes. Create team budgets, build up intricate approval procedures for pricey payments, and automate certain time-consuming operations such as VAT extraction with the help of this software.

“We cater to clientele in the mid-market.” Customers with 50 to 1,000 workers fall within this category. According to Ardant, “We have a few customers who are larger than that, and we also have a few clients who are smaller than that.”

Furthermore, the firm presently has 3,500 customers, around half of them in France and the remainder primarily based in Germany and the United Kingdom. Spendesk clients have spent a total of €3 billion in 2021 alone.

As the most critical component of the financial stack, Spendesk must seamlessly integrate with other financial instruments, including banks on the one hand and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software on the other.

In its present state, the firm supports several of the top accounting software used by European businesses, including Xero and Datev, among others. Customers of Spendesk may also export transaction batches and import them into accounting software systems such as Sage, Cegid, and other similar products.

Also being worked on by Spendesk is automating the connections with your bank accounts, which might be especially handy for businesses with several bank accounts. If you wish to pay a German supplier, for example, you may create a rule that automatically initiates a transfer between your German bank account and your Spendesk account whenever you choose to do so

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Spend management in Europe

Spendesk isn’t the only expenditure management system available in the European Union (EU). In addition, there are other rivals, like Pleo, which just hit a value of $4.7 billion, and Soldo, which is another well-funded competitor, having received $180 million in funding last year.

Companies such as Brex and Ramp, which are based in the United States, have achieved sky-high values. Spendesk, on the other hand, does not believe it has the same stance as American companies.

“On the American market, the spend management sector should be referred to as the corporate card industry rather than the spend management industry. Companies like Brex and Ramp promote themselves as payment methods,” Spendesk co-founder and CEO Rodolphe Ardant said in an interview with me. “Europe’s business culture is a culture of debit rather than credit,” says the author. Instead of providing payment options, we provide a process.”

Because of the modest variation in product positioning will be fascinating to observe if a European spend management firm can effectively penetrate the United States and vice versa.

Spendesk believes itself to be a software-as-a-service firm with recurring subscriptions when it comes to its business model as well as its product. The firm did not want to provide specific sales figures because it was concerned about being sued. Spendesk’s CEO recently said that the company’s revenue “more than doubles every year.”

Spendesk intends to treble the size of its workforce over the next two years as a result of the investment round announced today. By the end of 2023, the firm expects to have 1,000 workers worldwide.

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