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Spendesk is the fifth French startup to arrive at unicorn status this month



Spendesk is the fifth French startup to arrive at unicorn status this month 1

Fintech startup Spendesk is declaring that it has raised an augmentation to its Series C round. Tiger Global is contributing $114 million (€100 million) to the startup. Following the present financing round, the organization says that it has arrived at a valuation of more than $1.14 billion (more than €1 billion).

France victoriously declared the country’s 25th unicorn on Monday, after the industrial organization Exotec uncovered that it had brought $335 million up in funding to provide it with a valuation of $2 billion.

As such, Spendesk is a new unicorn in the French tech ecosystem. Funding news has been speeding up throughout the last few months in France. In January alone, five startups declared that they have crossed the threshold to arrive at unicorn status – PayFit, Ankorstore, Qonto, Exotec, and Spendesk.

Back Market, an e-commerce marketplace focused on refurbished cell phones and electronic devices, has additionally raised a mega-round and reached a $5.7 billion valuation.

Lille-based warehouse robotics organization Exotec assisted French President Emmanuel Macron with arriving at his target of 25 unicorns by 2025, three years early. To mark the event, Macron took to Twitter in a Steve Jobs-style turtleneck, crowing that French start-ups “change the lives of French people, create hundreds of thousands of jobs across France and are what make us sovereign!”

We should return to Spendesk. The startup offers an all-in-one corporate spend management platform for medium organizations in Europe. Initially focused on virtual cards for online payments, the organization has extended its product proposing to handle everything connected with corporate spending.

Spendesk clients can order physical cards for representatives, colleagues can use the platform to pay exceptional invoices, file expense reports, manage budgets, and create spending reports. By offering everything in a single service, Spendesk wants to work on accounting and approvals overall with the goal that cash moves all the more freely.

The startup defines its platform as a “7-in-1 spend management solution”, implying that Spendesk is at this point, not simply a product that allows you to order debit cards for your representatives.

“We have had this goal since the beginning — we really want to become this platform, this operating system to manage your spending,” co-founder and CEO Rodolphe Ardant told me. “When we started working on the product, we looked at each use case and designed the right workflow for that.”

Specifically, Spendesk assists you with formalizing your internal processes. You can define team budgets, set up complicated approval workflows for costly payments, automate a few annoying tasks, like VAT extraction.

“We target mid-market clients. Those are customers with 50 to 1,000 employees. We have a few clients that are bigger than that and a few clients that are smaller than that,” Ardant said.

Also the organization right now has 3,500 customers – around half of them are situated in France while different customers are generally situated in Germany and the U.K. Customers have spent €3 billion through Spendesk in 2021 alone.

With its central positioning in the financial stack, Spendesk needs to communicate perfectly with other financial tools – banks on one side and ERP products on the opposite side.

The startup as of now supports a considerable lot of the popular accounting tools used by European organizations, like Xero and Datev. Spendesk clients can likewise export transaction batches and import them into Sage, Cegid, and other accounting software solutions.

Spendesk is likewise working on automating the integrations with your bank accounts, which could be especially valuable for organizations with various bank accounts. For example, you could imagine setting up a standard that automatically triggers a transfer between your German bank account and your Spendesk account when you need to pay a German provider.

Spend the board in Europe

Spendesk isn’t the just spend management solution in Europe. There are a few competitors, for example, Pleo, which recently reached a $4.7 billion valuation, and Soldo – another well-funded competitor as it has raised $180 million last year.

In the U.S. also, organizations like Brex and Ramp have arrived at sky-high valuations. But then, Spendesk doesn’t think it has similar positioning as American startups.

“On the American market, it shouldn’t be called the spend management industry — it’s the corporate card industry. Players like Brex and Ramp position themselves as a payment method,” Spendesk co-founder and CEO Rodolphe Ardant told me. “Europe’s corporate culture is a culture of debit — not credit. We don’t provide payment methods, we provide a process.”

It’s a slight difference in product positioning, so it will be interesting to check whether a European spend management startup can effectively enter the U.S. and vice versa.

With regards to business model too, Spendesk sees itself as a software-as-a-service organization with repeating subscriptions. The startup would have rather not shared any hard numbers for its revenue. Its CEO recently said that Spendesk’s revenue “more than doubles every year.”

With the present funding round, Spendesk plans to significantly increase the size of its team throughout the next two years. The organization intends to have 1,000 workers before the finish of 2023.

Europe’s steady of unicorns is developing, and 2022 could end up being one more effective year for French technology organizations. That would play out well for Macron, who is relied upon to run again for the presidency in April. French Tech is presently immovably on the map: He can highlight a flourishing start-up scene set up by foreign investment and eight times as many unicorns as when he took office.

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