BCV Co-Leads $150M Series C Round In Pleo, The Top Spend Management Platform For European SMEs

4 min read July 6, 2021
Spotlight Fintech Growth

by Merritt Hummer and Keri Gohman

The future of work is here, and it’s decidedly employee-centric. The pandemic catalyzed many behavioral changes, and chief among those is an entirely new approach to corporate work. Employees realized they could be just as, or more, productive working from home, and experienced a sense of empowerment in managing their own goals and schedules.

We have been looking for companies that have capitalized on this massive shift toward employee-centrism, and that’s why we are so excited to be co-leading a $150M Series C investment alongside Thrive Capital in Pleo, Europe’s leading spend-management platform for businesses.

Pleo’s product positions employees at the center of the expense management process, empowering them with the authority to manage their own corporate spending via an easy-to-use mobile app and corporate cards. Pleo’s mission is to make everyone feel valued at work. Modern employees value autonomy and independence in their roles, including what they need to buy (and when) to do their best work.

Pleo gives employees independence while instituting appropriate monitoring and control functionality. Employers and employees alike love Pleo’s user experience, enabled by workflow automation and direct integration with top accounting platforms.

Pleo automates and streamlines the purchase, reconciliation, and accounting process for all employee expenses. Pleo issues real and virtual corporate cards with individual pre-set spending limits, allowing employees to make purchases that are instantly tracked in the Pleo platform. Employees take photos of receipts with the Pleo mobile app to instantly scan, categorize, and file the receipts for required reconciliation, tax, and accounting purposes.

They can also use their Pleo cards to withdraw cash for out-of-pocket purchases, or use their own cash, and get reimbursed quickly using the Pocket featureWith Pleo, employees never have to file expense reports as Pleo does it for them — automatically and instantaneously. Gone are the hours spent manually entering expenses!

But Pleo doesn’t just save employees the hassle of filing expense reports; it also dramatically reduces the time that finance teams invest in managing corporate spend. In small businesses, finance teams are often just one or two bookkeepers or accountants who manually process expense reports. With Pleo, finance teams have full visibility into all employee spend in real time.

Because Pleo is integrated with all of the major accounting platforms, finance teams can automatically reconcile spending back to the general ledger. Pleo reduces the time teams spend on expense management by 50% or more, with finance administrators saving an average of 11.5 hours a month.

As corporate spending rebounds post-pandemic — on everything from business travel, to meals, conferences, software subscriptions, and advertising — Pleo is well positioned to become the dominant player in small business spend management, an $80B+ opportunity in Europe.

Pleo is also expanding into bill payments, an even larger pool of spend. Pleo currently serves customers in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, and Ireland, with expansion underway in several other European countries.

BCV has been actively investing in the spend management sector for many years, having backed Chrome River (an expense management platform for large enterprises) in 2014 and more recently funding SF-based Airbase, the leader in spend management solutions for mid-market companies. We’ve also invested in B2B accounting and bill payment companies for over a decade, writing the first outside check into Billtrust in 2012, and backing companies such as AvidXchange and Flywire.

Pleo co-founders Nicco Perra & Jeppe Rindom.

When we first met the Pleo team years ago, we saw that co-founders Jeppe Rindom and Nicco Perra were building something very special. BCV’s Keri Gohman was first introduced to Pleo because they were so beloved by small businesses and accountants at her former company Xero, one of the accounting platforms that integrates directly with Pleo. While Xero works with over 1,000 third-party vendors via its marketplace, Pleo was one of the most loved among users, with incredible traction, and it remains so today.

We are thrilled to invest in Pleo, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this incredible company. Welcome to the BCV family, Pleo!

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