The year in Pleo: 21 things from 2021
What a year it’s been. And not just for us, but the entire EU fintech scene. In the same year we raised $350m (more on that later), fintechs across Europe raised over €20bn of VC funding in 2021, almost three times the previous record of €7.5bn in 2020 according to Savills. Not bad!
While there’s no doubting that 2021 came with its struggles, from lockdowns to working from our kitchen tables. It was also a year of a little more hope and plenty of accomplishments to celebrate. Here are 21 of our achievements to round off 2021.
1. We raised $150m to revolutionise business spending
Back in July, we raised $150m in Series C investment co-led by Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital with contributions from investors who have been with us from the beginning: Creandum, Kinnevik, Founders, Stripes and Seedcamp.
What better way to announce this news than putting our CEO, Jeppe Rindom on top of a rock to announce the big news?
2. And we reached unicorn status
This investment made us one of those unicorns that you keep hearing about. At the time, this investment increased our company valuation to $1.7 billion.
3. But it didn’t stop there.. we raised another $200m in December
We ended the year on a huge high by raising another $200m to take Pleo to new heights, and new countries.
This investment not only made Pleo the most-funded B2B spend management service in Europe, but we’re also the highest-valued – with our valuation almost tripling, bringing us to $4.7B.
We’re just as mind-blown as you are.
4. The Pleo team grew by 314 people
We’ve been growing at the speed of light, seriously. We welcomed a whopping 314 new-joiners to Pleo this in 2021 — we’re now almost at 500 people!
And we’re not slowing down hiring anytime soon, so while you're here, why not check out our open vacancies? There’s plenty to go around.
5. Pleo is free!
Our Free price plan means new users can take advantage of Pleo’s most popular features, for up to 5 users – at no charge.
But why did we do this? Let our CEO explain:
6. We brought in 1000 new customers every month
And we continue to do this. It’s really amazing to see.
We now have over 20,000 customers around the EU, a leap from 13,000 at the end of 2020. And we have huge plans to expand even further (let’s dig deeper on that soon).
Thanks for being with us!
7. Reimbursements got a whole lot easier with Pocket
Business spending comes in all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes a company card doesn’t cut it. You know, things like mileage costs. Reimbursing employees who had to dip into their own pockets. Taking account of company cards accidentally used for personal purchases.
Some areas of business spending are stubbornly old school. That’s exactly why we built Pocket, a centralised place to keep track of the money owed between your team and the company.
8. We waved goodbye to limits and let companies add anyone to Pleo!
Not everyone needs a Pleo card (ouch). We’re talking about temporary staff, freelancers, consultants, people on your team that only purchase things once or twice a year. We get it.
But even if a card isn’t essential for all of your team, we believe they can still get a lot from the rest of our spend management system.
9. We made invoice management easy with Bills
Bills are a huge part of how companies spend money, and the manual process involved in invoice management doesn’t just swallow time, it also creates stress. We know you’ve got plenty on your plate without having to worry about this…
So we launched Bills, our invoice management system that removes the hassle of paying invoices, while keeping you in control of your finances.
10. We hosted our very first digital summit, Forward
Just before Christmas, we hosted Forward, an event dedicated to the world of work.
We invited over 30 industry leaders and big thinkers from all over the world to talk about pressing topics such as diversity and inclusion, authentic leadership, founder lows (and highs) and so much more.
Why not read about our biggest takeaways from Forward?
11. We saw a crazy ramp-up of business spending
We’ve been crunching the numbers to find out how our users have been using Pleo over the past 365 days.
Here’s a taster: McDonald’s is the UK’s leading hospitality merchant with over 38,000 expenses made. That’s a lot of Big Macs…
12. And our spending categories were just as crazy
Here are the top three spending categories in each of our markets:
13. We opened our Lisbon office
We moved to sunny Portugal towards the end of last year. And we’re eager to grow the team out there…
14. And we announced our market expansion
Arguably our most exciting announcement of the entire year. Pleo is growing!
Thanks to our mighty Series C raise, we’re taking Pleo further. These new funds will enable us to further accelerate our growth plans – including a massive roll-out across Europe. We’re aiming to enter 15 new markets! We’re getting ready for Finland and Austria now.
And watch out, Portugal, Netherlands and France: we’re coming for you too. Plus 10 more European countries in the foreseeable future.
15. We kept our five stars on G2
We’re (still) five out of five stars on G2! With over 464 reviews (and counting), it’s been a strong year.
Thank you for all the reviews you’ve left us this past year. Especially this one:
“[Pleo] makes expense management a walk in the park.”
Love Pleo? Why not share the love! You can write your G2 review right here.
16. And we were nominated for two Drum Awards
Back in November, Pleo was chosen (by an expert judging panel) as finalists at this year's The Drum B2B Awards. And we were nominated for some pretty impressive categories:
- Brand of the Year
- In-House Agency of the Year
We’ll be back to claim the prize next time!
17. We published 4 eBooks
Our reports and eBooks highlight best practices and offer insights on business spending, finance management and the top tools to streamline your processes.
18. Everyone got together at a Team Camp in Spain!
Simply put, Team Camp is us trying to get every member of our team together in one place – regardless of where they're normally based.
Now, that’s a logistical nightmare without adding Covid to the mix. But we made it happen, safely and had an amazing time meeting new-starters or our managers for the first time, ever.
19. Pleo went out-of-home in London
In October, we released Pleo into the wild across East London, in the places where our product really comes to life. Where commuters are Pleo’ing their bus or train to the office or expensing that client lunch.
Find out more about the process here. It’s a project we're super proud of and can’t wait to do even more of…
20. We made an Expense policy builder
An expense policy, if it’s done right, can be one of the most important documents in any business. But it can feel daunting to start one from scratch…
So, we made an Expense policy builder that will help you quickly draw up spending guidelines that are tailored to your business.
21. We launched our Subscriptions Overview feature
Subscriptions. We’ve all got them at work. And they can be pesky little things. It’s too easy to sign up to duplicate services, lose control of who owns what and have almost zero overview of what is costing you.
That’s exactly why we launched our Subscriptions Overview, a new way to manage and track the subscriptions that your people need.
Here’s to 2022
Phew! What a year. And there’s so much more to come in 2022… We can’t wait to share with you what we’ve got cooking.
But until then, thank you for the continued support over the past year. As you can tell, we’ve achieved quite the accomplishments this year, but there’s absolutely no way we could have done any of this without you.
Here’s to another year spent with Pleo.