Copenhagen-based payments startup Pleo has raised a $3m seed investment to take the hassle out of managing company cards and automate employee expense reports.
The Danish payments startup, which we first covered back in April, says more than 650 companies have already signed up for its service, representing a total of 10,000 employees.
Its founders both formerly worked at Copenhagen-founded B2B payments firm Tradeshift, one of the Nordics’ most successful financial technology exports – now headquartered in Silicon Valley.
Jeppe Rindom, Pleo CEO and former CFO at Tradeshift, told PaymentEye previously his experience managing internal finance, running company cards and chasing expense claims means he has first-hand knowledge of the issues Pleo wants to solve.
Pleo’s funding will be invested in product development and the company’s public launch in the UK and Denmark in the next couple of months.
Backing comes from Founders, a startup studio based in Copenhagen that’s backed by Kirkbi A/S, Bestseller and William Demant Invest.
Pleo is trying to solve an altogether too familiar problem in the corporate world: managing who is spending what, when and where on company money. From the employee perspective it often ends up being a case of paying out of their own pocket and then trying to hold onto receipts, filling out expense reports and potentially waiting weeks to get reimbursed.
For an employer the process of getting corporate cards involves a lot of paper work and can take weeks to materialise. There’s not a lot of control over what employees are spending and statements are not very transparent, while card sharing is also widely practised. That’s because cards are often limited to the top execs in a company, which doesn’t really suit the increasingly decentralised patterns of businesses today.
Pleo wants to make that a thing of the past with a smart company payments card and software platform that takes care of all the fiddly admin and gives employees greater freedom while employers have more control over spending. Employers can issue new cards in minutes and control what, where and by whom money is spent. As the employee spends, outgoings are automatically filed on the app and Pleo automatically tags project numbers and passes them on to the accounts department.
“Every company knows the pains and complexities of dealing with expenses,” says Rindom, who co-founded the company with former Tradshift colleague Niccolo Perra. “The amount of interest we have received in the past few months and the sheer number of signups for early access on our website is a glaring indicator that we really are onto something.”
“The company credit cards haven’t changed much in 25 years, but Pleo is not just about reinventing the card, Pleo is about using software and data to create a completely new user experience, making life much easier for both employees, managers and finance folks. We call it ‘a simple spending solution for your business’ says Rindom.”
How it works:
- Companies signup directly from Pleo’s website
- On-boarding process, including the anti-money laundering checks takes a couple of minutes and requires no paperwork
- Companies can then adding funds to the Pleo account via an existing card or a bank transfer and assign virtual or plastic Pleo cards to the employees online
- Each Pleo user can have different spending rights such as ‘per transaction’ or weekly/monthly limits.
- All purchases made with Pleo cards appear instantly in the Pleo web or mobile dashboard
- After each purchase, the user receives a live notification and the application then uses proprietary technology to capture the receipt and categorise the spend.
Pleo is part of the Seedcamp and won the award for Pioneer of The Year 2016 at Pioneers Festival in Vienna this year.
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