Nordic Fintech Pleo Raises $1.7B, Joins Unicorn Club

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by Sanaa Sharma · 3 min read
Nordic Fintech Pleo Raises $1.7B, Joins Unicorn Club
Photo: Pleo

Pleo generates 70% of its income from the exchange fees extracted from a merchant’s bank account once a customer uses their card.

Denmark’s fintech Pleo joined the Unicorn club at a valuation of $1.7 billion in a $150 million equity financing round. The Copenhagen-based startup has shown tremendous growth since its establishment in 2015.

Europe’s latest fintech to join the Unicorn club, Pleo furnishes its customers with smart company cards that automate expense reports and ease out the process of corporate expenditure. Modernizing employee expenditure has become a high-priority service especially after the pandemic. Pleo has accounted for a growth of over 125% owing to the recent work-from-home trend. The current number of companies associated with the Fintech corporation is around 17,000. Its clientele is generated from countries all over Europe, with major customers in Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Spain, and Ireland.

The series A investment, which took place in 2018, raised its valuation to $16M. The funding was eventually used to widen the company’s expanse across the European Union along with the United Kingdom. The second round, called the Series B round, was led by Stripes, raising $56 M. This was also the largest Series B round hoisted in Denmark to date.

Expenditure Management

The company has decided to utilize this recently generated capital to increase its customer base and diversify its team. With the number of employees currently at 330, the firm aims to hire aggressively as well as develop innovative attributes in its services.

The new fintech-in-town has roped in some of the giants in Venture Capital to aggregate its total fundraising to $228 million. Investors like Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital led the latest round of equity financing.

Pleo generates 70% of its income from the exchange fees extracted from a merchant’s bank account once a customer uses their card. Paid subscriptions are an additional source of revenue.

Growth Plans of New Unicorn Pleo

The Nordic startup holds a substantive position in an extremely cut-throat corporate spend management market. One of its stiffest competition comes from two of the US-based SaaS companies named Expensify and Concur.

Jeppe Rindom, co-founder and CEO, elaborates on his plans of growth with a special emphasis on the pivotal role of London. According to Rendon, London is an international pivot for one of the awe-inspiring tech talents around the world. The company is also aiming for a massive hiring session in London in the upcoming months.

With an imposing figure of 27 unicorns, the Nordics have spawned the largest number of unicorns per capita after California’s Silicon Valley. The eight unicorns that have risen in the past few years are, however, known to be startups that are not purely based on Financial Technology. Pleo, on the other hand, has proven to be the youngest unblended fintech start-up to join the Unicorn club, with only a six-year-old establishment.

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