Eleven Ventures is one of the leading early-stage VCs in Southeast Europe, investing in startups since 2012. With 150 collective investments, Eleven’s team has been instrumental in catalyzing the regional startup ecosystem.
Before using Payhawk, the ten-person team at Eleven shared just one debit card issued by the main commercial bank in Bulgaria. The card-sharing caused a lot of confusion and a big lack of transparency. Vassil Terziev, Partner at Eleven, recalls that the team would "spend countless hours trying to reconcile our expenses" after every trip.
It caused an especially big headache for Diana Ruseva, Finance Manager at Eleven. With no invoices or receipts, Ruseva struggled to file many of the costs for taxes at the end of the fiscal year.
The one card the team shared came with other problems too. The commercial bank compliance process included loads of forms and time-consuming procedures, and the admin had become lengthy and unwieldy.
Eleven decided to invest in Payhawk in 2018 and test the service out at the same time. By moving their expense management to Payhawk, the team completely changed how they managed expenses and quickly felt the benefits.
"With Payhawk, we were able to move to a much more flexible solution. Each team member has a card, we have a lot more control over the expenses, and the user experience helps us minimize the time we spend on filing expenses. Now, we can spend that time doing something a lot more beneficial for our portfolio customers," Terziev says.
Now, each team member has a card with a set limit based on their designated budget. And if they need to request more funds, they can do so quickly with a couple of clicks via the app. The finance manager can then approve as necessary with just a few clicks.
Before Payhawk, when using the commercial bank, they had to send a form to another country to request a higher limit on the card, which was inefficient and time-consuming.
For the team, submitting expenses is now a piece of cake. No more saving endless receipts when on trips; they simply take a photo of their receipt or upload their invoice, and the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech built into the portal pulls out all the necessary information for the finance team.
"I literally love all of Payhawk's features. It saves me so much time and energy," Ruseva explains.
As an early-stage investment firm, the team at Eleven travels to meet new and existing portfolio customers all the time.
With Payhawk, the team has everything they need to perform business trips and capture their spend. Each member can pay with their cards as needed, upload a receipt, select a category, and the job's done. The tool even auto-chases team members when information is missing, which saves the finance team another arduous job.
"One of my favorite features is missing document reminders," explains Ruseva. "It saves me from chasing my teammates for uploading invoices from their trips."
But the benefits don't end there, as the Payhawk solution also includes a feature that lets the finance team know when their colleagues' card balances are low. This means the finance team doesn't have to look at the account every week to see if there are enough funds after the team has made their expenses; they just get an email to say the balance is below the limit set up.
"My absolute favorite feature is low funds alert," says Ruseva. "It helps me not to leave some of my teammates without any funds in the middle of a business trip abroad."
Payhawk's customizable spend categories mean that customers can create their own defined categories in order to measure spend on a project or activity basis. Each time a card user makes a payment, they can classify it in a set category (as decided by the business), including things such as "Advertising," "Tools," "Meals," etc. These categories can be created to match how the budgets are drawn up, allowing for easy accounting and reporting.
"The Payhawk features of spend limits and spend categories make it especially efficient to allocate budgets; this creates a very easy flow in our team," Nick Yanev, Marketing Manager at Eleven, explains.
Payhawk has allowed each team member of Eleven to save time on managing and filing expenses and pour it back into their work.
From allocating spend to chasing receipts, Payhawk has solved many problems that caused spend management to be so time-consuming for the business.
"Payhawk saves me a surprising amount of time. All of our marketing tools, subscriptions, and platforms are connected to my Payhawk card, which makes it very easy to not think about the next payment or where and how I should pay," says Nick Yanev, Marketing Manager.
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