Mar 16, 2020
5 mins read

Payhawk raises €3m seed round - one of the biggest in CEE

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

Payhawk has successfully raised €3 million in a seed funding round, one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe. The round was led by Earlybird, a top venture capital firm in Europe, and included participation from TinyVC and notable industry experts like Mark Antipof from Visa Europe and Keith Robinson from Sage. Payhawk's platform bridges the gap between corporate cards and expense management, offering a comprehensive solution streamlining the entire spending lifecycle.

€3m seed round for Payhawk - CEO talks

I am thrilled to welcome Earlybird to the Payhawk team. Earlybird is one of the most successful venture capital firms in Europe with over €1 billion under management, seven IPOs and companies like N26 and UiPath in its portfolio. The round is also joined by our existing angel investors and Eleven Ventures.

This round comes only 18 months after we entered a very competitive market with well-funded players. Since then, we have experienced great market demand serving more than 1,000 users in 14 countries and quickly converting customers from existing alternatives. Our strong product DNA, business model, key partners and strategic location in Sofia helped us quickly emerge on the European tech scene. We are very excited about the future and the great roadmap we have laid down for our customers.

It's also hard to share the news without mentioning the current situation in Europe. Without a doubt, the uncertainties that loom over the market will become more visible in the months to come. But as Bill Gurley said during the financial crises in 2008:

Environments like this tend to sort out the true entrepreneurs and teams from the pretenders. When money is easy, it tends to attract short-term opportunists looking to make a fast-buck rather than build a lasting company. Only the best entrepreneurs set sail in rough seas like this.

I would love to see you at our live launch webinar on April 1 where we will be showing how employees can manage company expenses with our paperless company card and to give you an overview on what this €3m seed round means for Payhawk.

Discover smarter, more scalable spend management

From the press release

Payhawk is a unique platform that enables CFOs and business owners to manage the entire spending lifecycle end-to-end, from the moment an employee requests money, to loading their corporate card with funds, paying and collecting the invoices, to reconciling all transactions in the company accounting software, and finally generating real-time, up to date reports. Payhawk closes the gap between corporate cards and expense management by providing a product that works on top of existing banks.

"In many companies, expense management is still far too bureaucratic, non-transparent and full of paperwork," explains Hristo Borisov, CEO and founder of Payhawk. "Many employees are forced to spend personal funds, manually track expenses with the legacy expense apps, write cumbersome reports and wait months to get reimbursed. Our payment solution addresses exactly this pain point and supports businesses in their transition to a new, paperless and digital age without being forced to switch banks," explains Hristo Borisov, CEO of Payhawk.

Payhawk currently serves customers in 14 European countries. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Start-up makes Berlin its new sales headquarters and is investing in a local German market presence. Germany´s advanced financial infrastructure makes it possible for Payhawk to connect to more than 3000 banks using PSD2, the European Union Payment Services Directive. In addition, bylaws such as GoBD allow companies to store paper receipts in digital archives in a tax-compliant manner with Payhawk.

“Neobanks paved the way for great customer experience in payments”, says Roland Manger, co-founder and partner at Earlybird. “AI and machine learning already outperform manual data entry of invoices and cloud-based expense apps have existed for more than a decade. Payhawk decided to combine the best of what exists today and integrate it into a next-generation platform with a great customer experience without forcing businesses to switch banks”. He continues, “We were impressed with the strong product DNA of the founding team and their relentless focus on customer experience. Payhawk has great market potential as every business needs a solution like this.”

“The flexibility to use multiple currencies and wallets without the need to top-up cards individually was a game-changer for us. Also, the great customer experience, automation and completeness of the Payhawk platform made us in fact switch from similar products that we used before. We are excited about Payhawk’s product roadmap and the upcoming features that will bring our spend policies to a whole new level." Said Hendrik Drozdoff, Senior Finance Manager at Matchmade, a Finnish influencer platform with hubs in Berlin, Los Angeles and Shanghai.

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

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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