Paris-based Spendesk said today that it has raised $9.9 million in venture capital as it prepares to scale its platform and expand across Europe.
Spendesk’s service is designed to simplify the process of approving and managing employees’ expense reports. But that’s just a starting point for a company that eventually wants to become a platform for facilitating all payments made by a company, according to CEO and cofounder Rodolphe Ardant.
“In your private life, when you want to buy something, it’s very easy right now,” Ardant said. “But in your professional life, it can still take a two-week approval process. So we wondered how we can make payments in companies as simple as in your private life?”
Founded in 2016, Spendesk is notable in part because it counts Ardant among its cofounders. Ardant was cofounder of digital advertising startup Wozaik, which was sold in 2013 to France’s version of the Yellow Pages. He then went to work as COO for Drivy, another high-flying French startup, which has raised about $43 million for its car rental marketplace. But he left after a year to become an entrepreneur-in-residence at eFounders, where he developed the idea for Spendesk. Such serial entrepreneurship and job-hopping may be common in Silicon Valley, but it is still largely the exception in Europe.
Right now, Spendesk offers two products. The first is a virtual credit card that a company can generate to allow an employee to make a one-time purchase or sign up for a subscription for a service. The second is a plastic credit card that’s tied to an app. Whenever an employee makes a purchase with the card, they can take a picture of the receipt, and the expense is immediately reported to the finance team — with no further expense reporting needed.
“They know exactly who spends what at the company,” Ardant said. “They can track expenses much more accurately.”
But the company wants to move beyond just eliminating the administrative hassle of reporting and approving expenses. Eventually, Ardant said the goal is to continue developing the platform so it can manage all aspects of spending and purchasing at a company. In less than two years, Spendesk has signed up 600 customers, which attracted the attention of investors. Spendesk has now raised a total of about $13 million, including its seed funding.
“Spendesk has created a seamless product that [its] customers love, which is not an easy task when you talk about expenses,” said Dominique Vidal, partner at Index Ventures, in a statement. “Whilst many other solutions have digitized the expense management process, Spendesk has built an entirely new workflow to manage spending across the company.”