Apr 14, 2022
5 mins read

How Payhawk is transforming the business ecosystem

Payhawk’s Founder and CEO Hristo Borisov Gifts Ursula Von Der Leyen A Metal Card Symbol Of EU’s Business Digitalization Journey
Quick summary

Last week the president of the EU's Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited Bulgaria to assess the National Plan for Reconstruction and Sustainability. During her visit she met with the Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, representatives of Sofia University and also some members of the startup ecosystem in the country, including Payhawk.

Green and Digital Transition

Last week I had the honor of meeting EU’s Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. I never thought that as a CEO and co-founder of a SaaS company, I would have that privilege.

The purpose of Von der Leyen's visit was to give the green light to Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. A fraction of NextGenerationEU, the Commission's 2021-2027 Recovery Plan — worth EUR 800 billion — will help to repair the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic and make the EU fit for the future.

Bulgaria’s allocation, a total of €6.3 billion —10% of the country’s GDP — will be distributed in grants over the next four years. More than 80% of the funds will be designated to the green and digital transition. The plan includes investments in digital connectivity, digital skills, the digitalization of public administration and businesses. This is where Payhawk comes in, and that’s why we gifted Ursula Von der Leyen, a custom metal card as a symbol of the transition.

We built Payhawk to solve one of the biggest pain-points for finance teams: managing expenses. We also realized that by implementing digital solutions across business functions such as Payhawk, companies of every size can make their operations greener and digital in an easy and affordable way.

Discover smarter, more scalable spend management

Learning from the best

I'm very much looking forward to meeting and listening to Jason Lemkin, SaaStr CEO, and Founder. I've followed him on social media for a long time, and his views are always super insightful.

Jason will be doing three sessions during the event, some opening remarks, a session with the CEO and Founder of ZoomInfo on the biggest mistakes in his journey to IPO, and an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Scaling, Hiring, and Everything Else. You can see the full agenda of the event here.

I'm also excited about all the sessions around sales, customer success, and GTM to see what I can pick up from those.

Lastly, I'm very proud to work at Payhawk, so of course, I'm looking forward to our CEO Hristo Bo

One of our biggest customers, ATU, Germany’s number one professional chain of auto retail stores and workshops, contacted us because they wanted to eliminate cash and become paperless in more than 500 branches. This meant becoming both digital and green. Not only were they able to reduce cash management, but also digitize all their invoices. Fun fact: before using Payhawk, ATU collected their invoices using trucks, which travelled around the country.

European SMEs are behind in their digital performance according to the DESI report. There are differences among EU member states but also within countries. Digitalization will allow companies to improve their productivity and competitiveness. It will also enable businesses to prepare for the digital wave and not get left behind.

Right now, businesses are stuck with legacy systems and cumbersome processes, which makes the transition almost impossible. We know this because our customers tell us so. But, change is always scary. Our goal is to support companies early on, in this changing environment.

Payhawk enables companies to digitize all company expenses in one single platform, pay employee reimbursements, and company bills instantly, and everything can be connected to your company’s accounting system or ERP.

Payhawk offers recycled PVC cards for customers, and we are partnering with Plan Ato track and reduce our carbon emissions.  In Q3, we will offer carbon emissions offsetting to our users, which is crucial considering that one of our major use cases is travelling employees. As travelling starts to pick up again, we want to integrate emissions calculations and quality carbon removal into our customer experience.

Innovation made in Europe

At the event with the EU Commission, other startups such as Dronamics and EnduroSat were present, which shows the maturity of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and is a testament to the value of the human capital in Bulgaria. We are the changemakers. We are helping the country and the region to become an innovation hub, and support public and private sectors in their digital and green transition.

Finally, the story of Payhawk becoming Bulgaria's first unicorn inspires other entrepreneurs to move forward and create outstanding products. I hear many times that Europe’s ecosystem has been less effective — than the United States — at turning start-ups into late-stage successes.

Maybe we were just a bit slower, but stay tuned, as more spiraling horns are coming. Borisov's session on how we went from Series A to becoming a Fintech Unicorn in just a year.

Connecting face to face

At Payhawk, we're building the financial system of tomorrow for scaleups. The SaaStr event is particularly important for our sales team as it represents our strongest growth segments; fintech and SaaS organisations.

Getting plugged into this ecosystem is critical for us, and the chance to network face-to-face will really help us connect on a human level with our customers.

Zoom has been critical for sales and customer success and has helped us move to asynchronous selling and success motions. That said, having face-to-face interactions will always be important to us and the best way to build connections on a human level.

Moreover, these kinds of events can be a great place to recruit talent. At the moment, we have more than 50 open positions, and we'll be eager to meet some of the SaaS industry's rising stars.

Sharing experiences

I will also be delivering a session during the event. My braindate session will be on Blitzscaling your sales team: How to keep up exponential growth post-unicorn status. The session will cover building a network of partners, the core characteristics to look for in candidates, and what you need in order to set new team members up for success.

One thing I've learned from working in SaaS for more than 20 years is that you need to focus on your customer and their problems. No one really cares about what you do unless you can connect it to how it will solve the problems they face in reaching their objectives.

At Payhawk, we're solving the headaches that come with disconnected business expense management, and we'd love to talk to you during the event. Come and say hi at stand 501 or if you can't make it, book a demo.

Hristo Borisov - Chief Executive Officer at Payhawk corporate spend management solution.
Hristo Borisov
Chief Executive Officer

Hristo is the compass guiding Payhawk's journey. With a rich background in engineering аnd product management he is a stalwart advocate for our products and customers, bringing a mix of innovation and user-centricity to everything we do. Outside the office, you'll catch him enjoying camper and sailing trips, shredding slopes on his snowboard, or simply soaking up precious moments with his family.

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