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London-based fintech Pleo introduces new Free Plan to bolster SMEs return post covid

Handling end-to-end spending for a company is not an easy task, even more so if it’s a budding startup that doesn’t have a dedicated team for it. To make this task easier, London based fintech Pleo offers a simplified company spending solution, along with smart company cards and bill payment processing. The company previously raised $150 million in its series C funding round and now, it is announcing a free plan for its consumers in the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden. 

Free plan aimed at helping SMEs

Pleo offers an end-to-end saas solution, which takes care of spending for businesses. It offers smart payment cards, automated expense reports and invoicing for employees, all while maintaining transparency, visibility and offering complete spending control for finance teams. The new free plan by Pleo intends to offer a selected catalogue of some of its services for up to five users per company. 

The new free plan is being provided by the unicorn in cooperation with J.P. Morgan, Mastercard and payment processing service Enfuce. Pleo trialled its free plans in Germany earlier this year and reported notable initial success. The company has also grown by 150 percent and has a valuation of $1.7 billion, which adds it to the list of unicorns. 

Jeppe Rindom, Co-founder & CEO at Pleo, tells UKTN in an interview, “While the Free plan is available to businesses of any size, we hope it will give start-ups and small businesses in particular a simple, off-the-shelf solution to manage cashflow amidst the challenging economic conditions the Coronavirus pandemic has surfaced.” Pleo’s free plan is expected to help companies make a comeback from the COVID impact. The company hopes to ease some of the financial burden that comes with a growing business to help them better manage their finances.

Keri Gohman, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures and Pleo board member, says, “Pleo has a deep understanding of where the world of work is going, and the need to create an employee-centric culture where teams feel empowered. With the free plan, they’re enabling thousands more companies to set this in motion right from the get-go, no matter their funding stage – providing spending autonomy and transparency for even the smallest teams.”

COVID strategies and takeaways

Like most companies, Pleo was also impacted by the covid-19 pandemic. The unicorn experienced some notable changes in pace as its customers’ corporate spending shifted. “This saw spending in areas such as travel and entertainment plummet, while the cost for adapting to a digital workforce became a new focus for everyone,” Rindom adds. 

This shift meant that the company had to quickly change its strategy to support its customers, who were going digital. It also had to do this while ensuring that its team could still be fully operational while working remotely across various regions. Furthermore, covid’s impact could be seen on Pleo’s customers as card payments dropped by around 25 percent while In-store spending dropped to 22 percent of transactions, as online transactions surged. 

“To keep supporting our customers effectively during this surge, we made Pleo’s virtual cards a key focus, moving them up the roadmap to respond to the demand for greater digital payment capabilities. We also introduced integrations with Google and Apple Pay, allowing for more flexibility with digital payments,” Rindom concludes. 

Pleo currently employs over 380 employees across Europe and is always on the lookout for talent to join its teams. 

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