Soldo scores $61M Series B for its ‘spend management’

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Soldo has closed $61 million in Series B funding, the U.K. fintech that offers a multi-user spending account for businesses.

It brings the total raised by the London-based startup to $82 million. Leading the round is Dawn Capital and Battery Ventures, with participation from previous Connect Ventures and backers Accel. In addition, a small portion is debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

Soldo offers a multi-user spending account for businesses of all sizes — from SMEs to much larger enterprises — that need to deploy and manage expenses across an entire organization. Carlo Gualandri the founder, who previously helped create Italy’s first online bank.

It enables employee spending and departmental to be managed in real time by combining a Soldo account, apps for iOS and Android, and central dashboard physical “pre-paid” MasterCards or virtual wallets that can be handed out to employees, departments and even external contractors or consultants.

This allows for different expense criteria for each contractor or employee, spending department, with permissions set and all spending trackable centrally. In addition, granular spending controls that are at the heart of its tech stack offer Soldo. It also lets users capture receipt data, while the whole system integrates with commonly used business accounting packages such as Concur, Xero, NetSuite, Zucchetti, Expensify, Quickbooks and SAP

Over the last 12 months what the biggest challenge has been asked for Soldo, Gualandri says “educating the market,” something that he doesn’t see changing any time soon.

“Spend management is a new category that replaces many old and outdated processes. “When you don’t know that a solution exists, you don’t even call it a “problem” but you consider it just a ‘fact of life’,” he says It allows companies to distribute access to money with control, more agile organization and enabling flatters. It will take time for the market to fully realize its transformational power”.

“We have been recognized by thousands of companies from small to very large as an innovative and reliable provider of financial services,” Gualandri says. To that end, Gualandri says the most gratifying thing over the last year has been the results achieved within the companies that have started adopting Soldo. “No small achievement in the traditionally more conservative world of business”.

The majority of companies in Europe are still using “reimbursable expenses, manual processes and spreadsheets to manage the expense management cycle” and Soldo’s competition largely remains the status quo way of doing things (although Denmark’s Pleo, for example, operates in a similar space). Soldo isn’t profitable yet, but Gualandri says it could be within one or two years if that was the goal. However, this would mean choosing “slower, more organic growth” and given there is a very large market in front of Soldo it “would not be the right choice”.

“Gualandri says it is a company with a fixed cost base and good unit economics so the break-even point is dependent on the volume of customers and how much we invest and grow the fixed cost base (because most of our investment is people) and spend managed by our system,” he says. “So by deciding to invest in sales and product, we are in effect targeting a larger revenue and profit base but later on”.

Gualandri says Soldo will continue to invest in its product, too, in order to tackle additional spend management “pain points”. Meanwhile, Soldo’s Series B round will be used to further grow in the U.K, where it claims a “leadership position,” and in Ireland and Italy. The company also plans to enter new European markets and double its workforce over the next 12 months.

“Travel expenses are the most common need but purchasing goods and services, employees benefits, mobility expenses, subscriptions, procurement are all areas that can be innovated and are an expression of the concept of company spend management,” he says.

“It’s crazy to think we’ve been forced to work for a year and a half on a hugely complex project, mostly duplicating something that we had already, to prepare our business for something that may or may not happen,” Soldo, the U.K. fintech that offers a multi-user spending account for businesses, has closed $61 million in Series B funding. Meanwhile, Soldo recently secured an e-money license from Ireland’s central bank in addition to the license it holds in the U.K. so that it can continue trading within the European single market post-Brexit and in the event of “no-deal”.

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