The mega summer fundraisers follow one another. After consumer credit specialist Younited ($ 170 million) and foodtech Choco (€ 82.5 million), it is the turn of Spendesk, a business expense management platform, to announce a funding round of 100 million euros led by the American investment fund General Atlantic, which recently bet on new French Tech unicorns like Back Market and ManoMano.
“I had General Atlantic on my radar for a while. It is one of the best VC [venture capitalist, NDLR] in my opinion, who has invested in tech leaders like Slack ”, observes Rodolphe Ardant, co-founder and CEO of Spendesk. The start-up’s long-standing investors, such as Index Ventures and Eight Road Ventures, gave the pot on the occasion of this round. This brings the total amount collected to 160 million since its creation in 2016. The valuation of the start-up is not communicated.
Put an end to the bunk system
Founded within the start-up studio eFounders, Spendesk began its adventure by offering a payment card to pay for all the expenses of SMEs with 30 to 1,000 employees, before providing a real-time purchasing control platform and a tool. management of supplier invoices.
With her palette, the young shoot considers save 20% of the time of a company’s finance teams. “Cash has become the number one topic for everyone. All the tools that make it possible to better understand, allocate and give more visibility to finances have met with great success, ”notes Lucile Cornet, partner at Eight Roads Ventures.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, fintech activity has accelerated despite a freeze from March to May 2020. “The first confinement caused a contraction in corporate purchases of around 40%. Then they started to rise again because companies have adapted by opting for digital solutions like Spendesk », Says Rodolphe Ardant. “The system of the bins, to make a purchase or to be reimbursed, no longer works today,” he adds.
Result, the company’s turnover has doubled in one year (the amount is not communicated), as well as the number of customers who passed the 3,000 mark. Of the 2.5 billion euros in volumes passed through the platform since its creation, 1 billion has been spent only over the last six months.
The United States, not the priority
With these 100 million euros, Spendesk, which is connected to accounting software, will continue to integrate into a whole bunch of software (accounting, HR, communication, etc.) and banks. It also counts accelerate in Germany and UK, who represent half of its customer base. The teams in Berlin (40 people) and London (30 people) will double in the next six months. In total, Spendesk will double its workforce (300 today) in the next eighteen to twenty-four months.
The American market, where the young shoot has been installed for a year, is not a priority. “We have a local team in the United States which accompanies our European customers present there and we have American customers, but this remains anecdotal”, indicates the manager. “ There is a great depth of market in Europe and so many new services to bring to current customers. But the door to the United States is not closed, ”adds Lucile Cornet.
The competition is tough
The American market is above all very different from Europe, it has more of a culture of credit than of debit. And big fintechs like Bill.com, Divvy or Brex, which are very well funded. The first, which went public at the end of 2019, is today valued at nearly $ 15 billion.
Competition is also fierce in Europe with the Danish Pleo and the British Soldo, which announces the same day as Spendesk a fundraising of 180 million dollars (152 million euros), led by the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek. Not to mention the French expense report specialists such as Jenji or Mooncard, who also have the capacity to offer other services to finance departments.
Spendesk, like its competitors, risks colluding with other fintechs who also have the ambition to become partners of the finance teams of SMEs. This is notably the case with Pennylane (accounting), Libeo (B to B payment) or even Agicap (cash management). Market consolidation is not that far away.