Recent moves at Pleo, including the appointment of a new CFO, have sparked speculation about a potential IPO, driving expectations for a valuation surge beyond the current $4.7 billion mark as of August 2023.
European fintech company Pleo has welcomed a new chief financial officer to expand its executive team and bolster its business offerings, CNBC reported Wednesday. According to the report, Pleo, known for offering simplified expense management and smart company cards to make payments easier for corporate institutions, hired Soren Westh Lonning to replace its current CFO.
Two Decades of Work Experience
Lonning shared with CNBC his strategic vision for the company as he takes up the CFO role, noting that he plans to drive the firm towards greater profitability and maturity. Despite the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, he intends to explore ways to increase growth and strengthen the company’s foothold in the European fintech industry.
He also intends to advocate for the judicious use of data to make better business decisions and make strategic investments that would position the company for global adoption.
“We want to continue to grow and grow fast, but the environment has also changed. That’s a dilemma for companies, but even more so for the lifestyle of Pleo and tech companies. So I can contribute in that direction, making sure we get as good as possible resource allocation across the company in terms of, you know, finding the pockets where we get the most bang for the buck in investing,” Lonning said.
Before joining Pleo as the new CFO, Lonning held different positions with various financial services firms, including notable tenures at Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen, WS Audiology, a hearing aid provider, and sports apparel startup Danish Endurance.
He also has previous CFO experience at Chr. Hansen, one of the leading food companies in Denmark. The firm is listed on the Danish stock exchange and is valued at over $10 billion.
He has over 20 years of work experience in the financial services industry.
Pleo Positions for Future Growth amid IPO Speculation
According to CNBC, recent moves at Pleo, including the appointment of a new CFO, have sparked speculation about a potential initial public offering (IPO), driving expectations for a valuation surge beyond the current $4.7 billion mark as of August 2023.
Despite these rumors, CEO Jeppe Rindom clarified that the company’s primary focus remains on business expansion and enhancing customer service.
“If you look at the markets today, it’s hard to be optimistic because there have been IPOs this year and, quite honestly, they haven’t been performing super well. So we don’t see ourselves going to market in this context.”
He also revealed that adding Lonning to the team is seen as a strategic move to strengthen the company’s financial strategies during a period of high growth fueled by market expansion and investments targeting mid-market customers.
Rindom acknowledged Pleo’s maturity as a business, noting that it’s only prudent for the company to consider going public eventually.
He said the firm would be ready for an eventual IPO in 2025 as it’s preparing itself for the foreseeable future.
“Hiring a CFO like Lonning provides Pleo with enough optionality for an IPO. Pleo is upgrading its processes around accounting, risk, and compliance in order to mature in a way that also resonates with an IPO eventually, should that be needed,” explained Rindom.