Pleo was founded in Copenhagen in 2015 by seasoned fintech professionals Jeppe Rindom and Niccolo Perra, who were part of the Danish startup Tradeshift. Their mission was to eliminate the hassle of antiquated practices of keeping track of company expenses. Since the company’s start, they have expanded from Copenhagen to London, Berlin, Stockholm, and Madrid. The company is diligently working to replace the method of using paper receipts to track finances as a system which is still widely used in the United Kingdom. These are 20 things you didn’t know about Pleo.
1. Pleo Labs
In 2018, Pleo introduced Pleo Labs. It was another way they put their customers first. With the help of interviews and feedback sessions, they built a platform to connect customers with their team and other people who use it. It was early access to the company when it was still in beta testing. Pleo Labs was the company’s way of creating a forum to make sure their product was the best it could be and met the needs of current and future customers, thereby giving them the best possible experience.
2. Series C funding
According to Finetech Futures, in July 2021, Pleo raised 150 million dollars in Series C funding. It was the most significant round to date, bringing Pleo’s evaluation to $1.7 billion, making it Europe’s largest unicorn. Former investors Creandum, Kiinnevik, Seedcamp and Bain Capital Ventures, and Thrive Capital led the round. Keri Gohman will join Pleo’s board of directors as a Bain Capital Ventures partner. According to the CEO, Jeppe Rindon, the firm presently has 17000 clients in six countries.
3. Revolutionizing hiring
According to Pleo’s blog, they equate the first phone call to a potential employee to having a cup of coffee with a friend. Transparency is essential to them in each step of the hiring process. They encourage future employees to speak with their management and ask as many questions as they like. Throughout the process, they encourage candidates to show off who they indeed are and make sure they and their potential team feel like it’s a good match.
4. Satisfaction guaranteed
One of the most important things to customers is account security, especially when it comes to finances. In 2021, Pleo surveyed almost four hundred people to see how they were doing. Countries polled included Germany, Sweden, Denmark, The United Kingdom, Spain, and Ireland. Based on the findings, they discovered 99% of their customers are feel secure using their product. Their card gives additional control over spendings, such as real-time overviews and the option to freeze accounts if something doesn’t look correct. They partner with JP Morgan, Danske Bank, and Mastercard. Even though they have high ratings with customers, they are constantly working to make their platform more secure.
5. I’ll pay you back
Many employees pay for company products with their own funds. However, Pleo has added a feature on their platform that streamlines these issues. Pocket is a central location to keep track of what is owed to the employees. This allows them to track mileage and pay their employees back for what they’ve accrued. Even if the employee pays with cash, the app can follow this. If an employee makes a mistake and purchases something personal with the card, Pleo’s platform will note the mistake and correct it.
6. Environmentally conscious
Many companies’ most significant expense is travel, and that takes a considerable toll on the planet. According to concur, business travel is typically planned around getting to a meeting as quickly as possible with little to no regard for the environment. As people start returning to their brick and mortar offices, Pleo wants to regard those who focus on the environment. One company working towards this goal is Goodwings, a Copenhagen-based company that calculates the emissions from the employee’s trip and removes the same amount from the atmosphere. Pleo customers receive a 20% discount on their first year with the company. One of the methods they use is planting trees which naturally removes carbon dioxide.
7. Global Startup Awards
According to Financial IT (4), the Global Startup Awards are the most significant independent awards for startups. In 2021, between 10,000 and 90,000 companies competed for this award. Pleo received The Global Startup Award. They were chosen by a panel of business experts. However, the company credits its customers with being the driving force for this award.
8. Trust and finances
Although one of the things Pleo helps companies do is streamline expenses, they also realize that first, people must trust them with their finances. Moreover, through multiple surveys and close contact with other things besides pour over expense reports and search for receipts for transportation expenses. They help companies manage their finances better; they also use their platform to improve all companies’ budgets. After all, there are so many different expenses when running a company, and having to manually keep track is a time killer.
Almost 250000 Swedish businesses rely on Fortnox for their finances. However, switching to another software platform can be too much stress, even if it saves a substantial amount of time. In 2019, Pleo teamed up with the company to provide a seamless experience between the two platforms. Since the two companies are similar, customers who started with Fortnox will see additional features that will help them take financial management to the next level.
10. Same year multiple awards
2019 was a busy year for the company, including winning several awards. In Copenhagen, Pleo was named Entrepreneur of the year. Almost 1700 companies were competing for this award. Ernst & Young hosts an event that recognizes companies that are on the rise. Although they had many successes, Jeppe Rindom is still working diligently to keep his company at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and intuitive platforms. Additionally, Pleo knows that they will have to keep the momentum strong year after year if they want to continue and expand their success.
11. Building Blocks
Pleo’s onboarding process is called Bricks, a nod to their first investor, Lego. However, it’s more than a cute name. It’s the company’s way of making its employees feel like they are part of the overall picture. Unlike other companies, which give an employee all the information at the beginning of the hiring process, they created a program that builds a new skill each day, much like a Lego project. Moreover, they give each person one of their cards so they can experience their product first hand. Much like statistics prove, Pleo understands that a great onboarding session makes an employee stay longer and hopefully build a career.
12. More awards
In 2019, Pleo was named the Nordic Startup of The Year. According to their website, competition and events are competitions and events to determine who is the most ambitious and successful company. This award includes companies from five different countries Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The winner of this award understands the Nordic business structure thoroughly and exhibits it in each piece of their company.
13. Pro Women
According to The Guardian, in 2020, women had a higher layoff rate than men in similar positions. Additionally, they were primarily responsible for homeschooling and filling in for daycare while these places were closed. In The United Kingdom, 40% of women have been out of work for six months or longer. Pleo is the sponsor of the podcast Shecan.shedid, which encourages women and helps them learn how to be Entrepreneurs, and gives them opportunities outside their former positions.
One of the problems many companies run into is that they overspend. Pleo’s cards have a built-in threshold so business managers can see where the company’s dollars are going and if they need to make improvements. Additionally, the platform has a feature for them to flag expenses when more information is required. Companies like Byron, Lyst, and IDC are already using this feature with great success.
In 2019, Pleo announced an addition to their platform, Assurance, an additional level of security. Many companies have multiple people making purchases, some that were not authorized. This feature allows these items to be reviewed and either rejected or approved. One of the companies that benefited from this is European Energy, one of the largest providers of green energy. Using this service, they eliminated almost a week of work each month. When Pleo was in its beta testing phase, they were the first companies to try the platform out.
16. Here fido
Aside from documenting finances, creating a paper trail is another arduous task companies struggle to complete. Email boxes are crowded, sometimes making it impossible to find the documents managers need. Pleo’s answer was Fetch, a program that matches receipts with emails in companies’ inboxes. Each file is encrypted, so they are only seen by the client who is using the inbox. This is another serious time saver because a vast majority of purchases are made online. Some of their most well-known companies include Amazon, Apple, Zoom, and Mail Chimp.
17. Personal experience
Jeppe Rindom created Pleo because he saw the toll a large volume of receipts tasks on managers. Early in life, he worked alongside his dad, organizing receipts and bank statements. The task took him hours. Later he co-founded a Finetech company with Pleo Co-founder Nicollo Perra. In the beginning, they handed out company credit cards to everyone in the company. However, they soon regretted it because it was a mess trying to track expense reports. After seeing this, they wanted to create a platform that eliminated the headaches. According to tech round, companies could eliminate almost twelve hours a month on this task using Pleo.
18. An elite group
Pleo joins seven other unicorns in Denmark, Zendesk, Unity, Tradeshift, Sitecore, Trustpilot, Net Company, and Chainalysis. However, Pleo was the group’s fast growing, growing to a billion dollars in six years. According to sifted, one of the contributing factors was the pandemic. The company saw customer growth of 125%.
19. Go big or go home
Enfuce is Finland’s most prominent fintech startup, the two companies teamed up in 2019. Enfuce brings a vast knowledge of cloud-based payments that they used on their globald plaftofom. The partnership was another stepping to Pleo reaching its goal of becoming the go-to for the entire purchase experience for SMEs across Europe. Joining forces will create a more scalable solution for both companies.
20. Get with the times
The company’s founders feel that the banking system needs an overhaul. There are many new models for businesses as well as startups. More people are working remotely. Since the corporate climate is changing, banks need to work towards catching up to the trends. Pleo is revolutionizing previous models of handling company expenses, primarily focusing on small to medium-sized businesses. This is not the only thing that the company has overhauled. From their focus on retaining their employees to their constantly evolving platform, it’s no wonder it’s become a unicorn in only six years. Even though they have brought the industry forward light-years, they are still creating new features to stay current with the ever-changing financial climate.
After the pandemic, more people are charting their own path to financial success. Many people have started companies in all different sectors. Moreover, the pandemic changed the way we do businness. Even though it was difficult it helped create many new technologies to help people get through.However, even though trends in companies are drastically shifting, managing finances has yet to catch up. However, Pleo’s co-founders have seen the struggle first hand. Managing receipts and keeping on top of your company’s finances is one of the most time-consuming and unnecessary wastes of time. Over the last six years, Pleo has continually made advancements that eliminate the headache of one of the worst office tasks.