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In an era when SPACs are the hip new way to take a company public, corporate expense management technology company Expensify is taking the old fashioned route.
The San Francisco-based fintech announced this week it has submitted an S-1 document– a key step on the road to an initial public offering to the SEC. The S-1 was submitted confidentially. Since Expensify is considered an “emerging growth company,” the contents of the filing do not need to be made public until 21 days prior to the road show for the IPO.
Expensify, which reached profitability at the end of 2018, has not yet determined the size and price range for the proposed IPO.
Founded in 2008, Expensify launched with its flagship receipt-scanning app and a simple motto, “Expense reports that don’t suck!” Since then, the company has gone on to launch a corporate payment card, offer a COVID-friendly virtual travel assistant, andexpand into billpay.
Expensify’s IPO is expected to commence after the completion of the SEC review process, subject to market and other conditions. The company has raised a total of $38.2 million. David Barrett, who Finovate interviewed about the company’s launch, is CEO.
Pre-accounting platform Expensify commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a creative way to fight injustice. The company will donate 25 cents for every dollar it pays its white male employees to its volunteer-led campaigns. The company estimates that this initiative – the product of “numerous internal conversations” among Expensify employees – will raise $3 million in 2021.
Dude fee? Bro tax? As Expensify CEO and founder David Barrett explained, the calculation was made based on national gender pay gap data. “As part of our broader commitment to creating a world free of injustice, we’re using external data sources to determine our direct donations so it meaningfully reflects the types of fundamental and generational issues we’re trying to help solve.”
In the company’s announcement, Expensify Director Puneet Lath – a nine-year veteran of the firm- elaborated on the thinking behind the decision. Pointing out that members of some minority groups can earn as low as 75 cents on the dollar compared to white men doing the same work, Lath said this gap has contributed to systemic inequality and “unequal treatment in the workforce.” To this end, he said this specific funding approach “furthers our commitment to unwind systemic injustice throughout society.”
The engine of Expensify’s program is Expensify.org, which was launched last year to help facilitate charitable giving and volunteering. The onset of the COVID-19 crisis caused the organization to focus its efforts on hunger relief efforts, resulting in assistance to 5,000 low-income families by the end of 2020.
A Finovate alum for more than a decade, Expensify also participated in our developer’s conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the receipt tracking and expense management app has more than 10 million users around the world.
As of October, Expensify isn’t just for expense management anymore.
This week, the company announced that it has added a new service that will enable Expensify users to leverage the platform to pay their bills, as well. For free.
“A little known fact is that Expensify was never intended to be an expense reporting company: it was always intended to be a platform for all things accounts payable and receivable,” company founder and CEO Dave Barrett wrote. “Expenses, invoices, bills — they’re all slight variations on the same thing. But the variations are so slight, there’s really no reason to Frankenstein together a bunch of financial tools to cover all your needs: Expensify is a one-stop shop for everything you need to run your back office.”
All Expensify users need to do in order to take advantage of the new service is to have their vendors send their invoices to:
Expensify will SmartScan the invoices, present them to the payer, and then send payments to the vendors from the payer’s business bank account. Expensify will also ensure that the transaction is accurately and promptly noted in the company’s accounting system, as well.
The goal is to show how Expensify serves as a small business platform rather than just an expense management solution. After all, that’s how Expensify treats it. “We’ve got hundreds of employees split between several international subsidiaries,” Barrett wrote, “thousands of vendors scattered around the world in multiple currencies, a hundred thousand customers spanning dozens of countries — and we run the whole business on Expensify.”
A long time Finovate alum, San Francisco, California-based Expensify has demonstrated its technology and its solutions at both our developers conference, FinDEVr, as well as at our Finovate events. Over the summer, the company unveiled its Concierge Travel solution, a virtual travel assistant that helps travelers build their itineraries and plan their trips – free of charge.
Expensify has raised more than $38 million in funding from investors including OpenView, PJC, Redpoint. The company began the year with the launch of its corporate card, the Expensify Card, that offers a special reward called Karma Points. Cardholders can use these points to make charitable donations to one of five partnering philanthropic organizations. Expensify also will donate 10% of all revenue from the card to charity, During the COVID-19 health crisis, donations are being directed to the Expensify.org/hunger fund.
Expense management platform Expensifylaunched its latest solution today. The offering, Concierge Travel, is a virtual travel assistant that makes it easier for travelers to build their itineraries and plan their excursions in the COVID-19 era.
“While most of us are avoiding travel right now, there are still essential workers whose trips can’t be cancelled or postponed,” Expensify CEO and founder David Barrett explained. “We want to help them travel in the safest possible way.”
Concierge Travel is available to Expensify cardholders and can be used to book flights, make hotel reservations, reserve rental cars and more – free of charge. All bookings via Concierge Travel also feature complimentary safety alerts and travel risk advisories from Global Rescue. The free Global Rescue membership offers a range of services for travelers including transportation to the cardholder’s hospital of choice in an emergency, as well as health and security assessments and entry and exit requirements for international travelers.
“With Concierge Travel, your free Global Rescue membership provides world-class safety and medical services,” Barrett added. “On top of that, Concierge lets you know about any COVID-related travel restrictions in advance, including specific stay-at-home orders in place, social distancing measures, and other info on the city you’re visiting.”
A Finovate alum since 2009, Expensify demonstrated the technology behind its expense management platform at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley, in 2016. The company introduced its corporate card last fall, offering spending controls and expense management in a single solution that in some ways harkens back to the firm’s origins more than a decade ago.
“Expensify started as a corporate card way back in 2008 before we decided to focus on expense,” Barrett said when the card was launched, “so it’s fun to see the product come full circle with a card that naturally extends our existing platform.”
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Expensify has raised $38.2 million in funding according to Crunchbase. The company includes Redpoint Ventures, OpenView, PJC, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) among its investors.
The financial world has been as much a fan of celebrity as a customer engagement tool as any other industry with brands to build. Today, Mastercardannounced that it was working with Swedish singer Nadine Randle to produce a song that “integrates the payment giant’s ‘sonic brand.” The company’s ‘sonic brand’ identity itself is the fruit of a partnership between Linkin Park co-founder Mike Shinoda, who developed the score last year.
And from the local sports hero to the homecoming veteran, credit unions and community banks have long leveraged the willingness of regional-minded stars and celebrities to “give back” to the communities and neighborhoods they grew up in.
But as fintechs increasingly partner with and compete with these and other financial institutions – and take advantage of new forms of celebrity such as social media influencers – they are increasingly taking a page from the FI marketing playbooks when it comes to using star power to shine a light on the work they do.
Expensify CEO and founder David Barrett highlighted the way his company’s technology would make it easier for talents like 2Chainz to “make the most epic music video ever” in his Expensify Th!$ ad. But he also told Fast Company at the time that even though Expensify had the “strongest brand” in the expense management game, and was the fastest-growing such firm with the biggest customer base, “virtually nobody in the world knows who we are.”
The celebrity approach to marketing is not without its detractors. In a post at Medium.com last year, Millennium Management COO Ajay Nagpal noted data from the 2018 Sprout Social Index that suggested that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service recommended by a friend than a celebrity. Moreover, Nagpal raised an interesting question as to whether or not the star endorsement of a brand in fashion, for example, would have the same impact as the same star’s endorsement of a brand in wealth management or tax planning.
Perhaps it depends on the star. Last fall, Finovate audiences were treated to a surprise appearance from noted Canadian investor and star of the reality show Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary, who provided an on-stage, end-of-demo endorsement of Bambu’s Beanstox investing solution. And it’s a good bet that “Mr. Wonderful” is likely to be a more powerful advocate for white- label, B2B robo advisory technology than he might be for, say, leggings …
Additionally, as Director of Brand Strategy at Weber Marketing Group John Mathes wrote for The Financial Brand, even the best celebrity branding works better over time rather than as a one-off. Calling the practice “borrowed interest,” Mathes warned that while carefully targeted star power can produce positive results “brand building is usually a slow process. It takes time. It’s not a single campaign or gimmick.”
The impact of celebrity and influencers on the visibility of and engagement with fintech remains to be seen. But maybe more to the point, the fact that a growing number of fintechs are adopting the same approach to brand-boosting as their peers and rivals in the rest of the financial world may be a positive sign for the fintech industry in and of itself.
Expensify is the latest fintech to get into the card game. The San Francisco, California-based expense management solution provider announced today that its free corporate Expensify Card, will give businesses of all sizes a unique combination of spending power and control along with real-time expense management.
For Expensify, the new corporate card is a case of going back to the future. “Expensify started as a corporate card way back in 2008 before we decided to focus on expense,” company founder and CEO David Barrett explained, “so it’s fun to see the product come full circle with a card that naturally extends our existing platform. The card will make life easier for our customers, who no longer have to worry about lost receipts, late fees, or accidental overspending.”
The new offering automatically inputs expense details and produces an audit-protected receipt whenever an employee makes a transaction with the card. Expenses and transactions are shared with administrators in real-time, providing what the company called an “unmatched” degree of card control and significantly less risk of employee overspending.
The new Expensify corporate card also features continuous reconciliation of all approved expenses, spending controls and card limits on unapproved expenses, and no fees, interest, or personal guarantees. The card also offers perks from partners including Amazon Web Services, Stripe, Bill.com, and Stack Overflow.
One of Finovate’s earliest alums – making its Finovate debut in 2009 – Expensify most recently demonstrated its technology at our developers conference, FinDEVrSiliconValley, in 2016. At the event, David Barrett led a presentation titled Bedrock – Expensify’s Open-Sourced Infrastructure Secret Weapon, that discussed how the company’s geo-redundant database technology enabled it to become the fastest growing ERP software in the world.
This summer, Expensify became the first fintech company to win a Cannes Lio aard for Expensify This, a rap-influenced, marketing campaign featuring 2Chainz and Adam Scott. This year, the company partnered with bookkeeping franchise Supporting Strategies, and integrated with Southeast Asia-based ride-sharing firm Grab.
Founded in 2008, Expensify has raised more than $38 million in funding from investors including CIBC, OpenView Venture Partners, PJC, and Redpoint Ventures.
Expense management solution provider Expensify announced today that it is teaming up with Supporting Strategies, one of the biggest bookkeeping franchises in the U.S. The partnership will make Expensify the expense reporting app for thousands of Supporting Strategies’ small business clients across the country.
With this announcement, Supporting Strategies is the latest company to join the ExpensifyApproved! Partner Program. The program, which features companies such as CLA, Wipfli, and BPM among its members, provides discounts, co-marketing, and access to client onboarding resources, as well as opportunities to participate in networking events such as Expensify’s ExpensiCon.
“Expensify has greatly increased our ability to provide great customer service to our clients,” Supporting Strategies CEO and founder Leslie Jorgensen said. “With Expensify, we have a one stop shop for all company expenses that syncs directly to QuickBooks.” Jorgensen praised the platform’s one-click ability to approve and pay expense reports, as well as code company credit card transactions – all in the same app.
Founded in 2004, Supporting Strategies offers outsourced bookkeeping services and operational support to small businesses. The company leverages “best-of-breed” technology to offer a range of services including accounts payable and receivable, bookkeeping, financial reporting, and payroll administration. The company has been in a growth phase of late, announcing expansions in Florida and New Jersey in June; in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May; and Charlotte, North Carolina in March. Earlier this year, Supporting Strategies was named Top 50 Franchise Based on Franchisee Satisfaction by Franchise Business Review for the fourth consecutive year.
Expensify presentedBedrock: Expensify’s Open Sourced Infrastructure Secret Weapon at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2016. Company founder and CEO David Barrett discussed how the company leveraged Bedrock, its geo-redundant database technology, to help it maintain its position as the fastest growing ERP software in the world. Expensify is also an alum of our demo-only event, having demonstrated its Expensify Invoices solution at FinovateSpring in 2013.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2008, Expensify has raised $38.2 million in funding from investors including OpenView Venture Partners, CIBC, PJC, and Redpoint. The company made international fintech headlines this spring with the news of its partnership with Southeast Asia ridesharing company Grab.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Central and South Asia
India’s ZestMoney raises $20 million in new funding.
Expense tracking software company Expensify has integrated with Southeast Asia-based ridesharing startup Grab to automate expense tracking and rideshare reimbursement for Grab users.
When they connect their Expensify account to their Grab business profiles, Expensify customers who live in or travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia can automatically create and submit expense reports for their Grab rides. Upon booking rides in Grab’s mobile app, the receipt for the trip is automatically sent to Expensify.
Expensify opted to integrate with Grab because receipt volume for the ridesharing platform grew 200% in 2018. “Business travel has become one of Grab’s priority segments, with more users discovering and using Grab Business Profiles every day,” says Shawn Heng, Regional Head of Business Development and Grab for Business. “Partnering with Expensify, a great app for anyone who needs to keep track of receipts and expenses, is an exciting next step to make business travel even smoother for all of Grab’s customers.”
Grab is not the first ridesharing company Expensify has integrated into its platform. The California-based company integrated with Uber in 2016 and with Lyft in 2017. Today’s deal does, however, mark the company’s first partnership in the Southeast Asia region. Expensify also has partners in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.
Founded in 2008, Expensify most recently demoed at FinovateSpring 2013, where the company’s CEO David Barrett showed off invoicing technology. The company teamed up with rapper 2 Chainz and actor Adam Scott earlier this year to create a SuperBowl ad. You can check it out below: