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Smart credit card fintech Pleo joins unicorn club, raises $150M, plans aggressive hiring in UK

pleo-unicorn

With 27 unicorns from 26 million people, the Nordics have generated the highest number of unicorns per capita in the world outside Silicon Valley. Danish tech ecosystem has produced eight unicorns, including Zendesk, Unity, Tradeshift, Just Eat, Sitecore, Trustpilot, Net Company, and Chainalysis.  

Now, Copenhagen-based B2B fintech startup Pleo, an employee credit card and expense solution provider has joined the European’ unicorn’ club after raising Denmark’s biggest ever Series C at $150 million.

The investment round was co-led by California-based Bain Capital Ventures and New York-based Thrive Capital, with contributions from investors who continue to support Pleo, including Creandum, Kinnevik, Founders, Stripes and Seedcamp. With this, Keri Gohman, Bain Capital Ventures’ partner, will be joining Pleo’s board of directors. Further, the round also brings Pleo’s valuation to approximately USD $1.7 billion.

As per the company press release, the funds raised will support its growing 17,000+ customer base, with a goal to achieve 1m active card users by the end of 2025, and it will also be used to develop new spend management features for the platform.

Further, the Danish fintech will continue to invest in its team, which currently stands at 330 people. The fintech scaleup offers Mastercard like smart company cards and expense management for businesses across Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the UK. 

UK growth plans

In the UK, their office is situated in Shoreditch, London, where they have confirmed to be growing significantly and are looking forward to hiring more people. Jeppe Rindom, Co-founder & CEO, Pleo tells UKTN, “As we look to grow and expand our team following this funding round, the UK will also play a pivotal role in our recruitment. London – and the UK in general – is a global hub for some of the most impressive tech talent in the world, and we’re looking to hire the best team of people to join the Pleo family in the coming months.”

This Series C investment comes two years after Pleo’s Series B round, led by Stripes, which saw them raise $56m — previously the largest Series B round raised in Denmark to date. Prior to this, in 2018, Pleo raised its Series A round totalling $16m, which helped expand its solution across the EU.

Commenting on the development, Keri Gohman, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, stated in the company press release, “The future of work empowers employees with the tools they need to be effective, productive, and successful. Pleo understands this critical shift for modern companies toward employee centricity—providing workers with a fun-to-use spend management app that automatically tracks their corporate spending and generates expense reports, paired with the powerful tools businesses need to create full visibility and management of every penny spent.”

Merritt Hummer, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, also added: “BCV invests in founders who aren’t afraid to tackle big problems, and Jeppe and Nicco saw a big challenge that employers faced—tracking all corporate spending and reconciling expenses back to the general ledger—and solved it with elegant technology that both employers and employees love.” 

 “Pleo is well positioned to become the dominant player in small business spend management, an $80B+ opportunity in Europe alone, and will only grow more essential to businesses as the company expands into bill payments in the near future.”

Bain Capital Ventures has recently invested in GoCardless. Last month, they also raised $1.3 billion to fund young startups and VC firms. 

Kareem Zaki, General Partner at Thrive Capital, says: “Pleo has already transformed the way that over 17,000 companies think about managing their expenses, saving them time and lowering costs while increasing transparency.”  “We are excited to partner closely with the Pleo team to help drive their next phase of growth.”

In the past year, Pleo has launched various significant product features, including Bills, an invoice management system that removes the hassle of paying invoices, and Reimbursements (as part of Pocket), a centralised hub to keep track of the money owed between employees and the company. 

Founded in Copenhagen in 2015 by fintech veterans Jeppe Rindom and Niccolo Perra, both serial entrepreneurs with years of experience building successful financial products, Pleo also aims to use the investment to further develop features such as these as well as deepening their market offerings.