Corporate card unicorn Payhawk plans acquisitions to expand in US

Saravutvanset | Room | Getty Images

AMSTERDAM — Corporate payments startup Payhawk told CNBC it is planning mergers and acquisitions to grow its footprint in the corporate spend management world and take on big players like SAP.

Bulgarian-founded Payhawk said it is looking to acquire a company or companies at the series A stage of their development, referring to early-stage startups that have already raised a significant round of funding.

In an interview with CNBC, Hristo Borisov, Payhawk’s co-founder and CEO, said he thinks his firm has a better “product-market fit” than its rivals, which have gained multibillion-dollar valuations by handing out free corporate cards to other startups.

“We see an opportunity to have much better unit economics in this business,” Borisov told CNBC at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam this week. “We believe companies like Brex and Ramp still haven’t found strong product market fit for what this potential market is going to be.”

Payhawk is a corporate spend management platform that issues smart cards for clients’ employees to make payments and keep track of their expenses. Decathlon and Vinted are among its customers.

Consolidation the name of the game

Payhawk recorded huge growth in the first quarter, the company told CNBC. It revealed that revenue climbed 86% globally year over year, and sales jumped 127% in the U.K. — a market that now makes up 27% of overall revenue.

Payhawk’s growth came off the back of a significant increase in clients. The firm said it saw a 58% rise in customers year over year in the three months ended in March, with the U.K., again, a major driver.

Now, Payhawk wants to build on that growth — with mergers and acquisitions key to unlocking future opportunities, according to Borisov.

“Many businesses that got funded in last two or three years are now in a position where they’re looking at strategic options,” Borisov said. “This is something we’re actively doing. We’re looking for companies to buy.”

“Our vision is to be able to provide a single platform that provides a homogeneous environment your corporate expense needs with a single provider,” he said. “There is going to be some market consolidation.”

Borisov isn’t looking for companies in the U.S. market to acquire, he said, adding that in the U.S., Payhawk is partnered with American Express under the credit card giant’s Sync Commercial Partner Program.

Goal to become a public company

Asked whether his firm was looking to raise new venture funding to achieve its objectives, Borisov said that Payhawk is always in fundraising conversations.

Worldpay president: AI could help combat fraud in payments industry

He added that its renewed growth over the past year had garnered interest from external investors, after a tougher 2022 and early 2023.

“Fundraising is everyday,” he said. “It’s not because we need money. The worst time to fundraise is when you need the money.”

“We’re speaking to investors daily, understanding where the market is,” Borisov added. “Partners who do believe in that vision see the same way.”

Payhawk may look to raise a new venture round either this year or next year, Borisov added. The firm, backed by venture firms Lightspeed, Greenoaks and Earlybird, has raised $240 million to date.

He said his ultimate goal is for Payhawk to become a publicly listed company, though there’s no date yet for the firm to launch a public market debut.

“Our ultimate goal is to IPO the company, this is something we’re focused on,” Borisov said. “This really depends on the market conditions and market realities.”

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Pioneer Newz is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment