Fintech startup Jeeves raises $180M and quadruples its valuation to $2.1B in six months – TechCrunch

Less than seven months after closing a $57 million Series BFast-growing fintech Jeeves has raised $180 million in a Series C funding round that values ​​the company at $2.1 billion.

Fintech companies that raise multiple rounds in a short period of time have become more the norm than the exception lately. Still, Jeeves’ speed of growth and valuation increase is impressive.

When it lifted in September, Jeeves — which describes itself as “an all-in-one business card and expense management platform for global startups” — was valued at $500 million. This means that its value has quadrupled in just over six months. It’s also worth noting that Jeeves only launched publicly in March 2021 and officially emerged from stealth last June with $31 million in equity funding and $100 million in debt. In the summer of 2020, Jeeves participated in Y Combinator’s summer cohort.

Its success is another example of the competitiveness – and lucrativeness – of the corporate cards and expense management category. For example, Jeeves says that since announcing his Series B in September, he’s seen his revenue soar 900% and doubled his customer base to more than 3,000 businesses. It also reached around $1.3 billion in annualized gross trading volume (GTV) and is expected to reach $4 billion by the end of the year.

“When I bridged Series C in December, I realized we had more than doubled our revenue from the whole month of November,” Jeeves CEO and Founder Dileep Thazhmon said. “Then in the first two months of 2022 we generated more revenue than all of 2021.”

Tencent led its latest raise, which also included participation from GIC, Stanford University, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), CRV, Silicon Valley Bank, FT Partners, Clocktower Ventures, Urban Innovation Fund, Haven Ventures, Gaingels, Spike Ventures, family offices of two FAANG founders, and Carlo Enrico, president of Latin America and the Caribbean for Mastercard. Over the past 12 months, the company has raised over $380 million.

“We ended up with five term sheets, which was validation in a time when we’re seeing more due diligence than before and a tougher fundraising environment,” Thazhmon told TechCrunch. “The market was very different in January and February than in December.”

So what exactly does Jeeves do? The company says it provides underwriting, local currency credit, and payment rails “for any business expense across countries and currencies.” It currently has clients in 24 countries across North America, Latin America, UK and Europe which are a combination of high-growth startups, e-commerce companies and SMEs including Bitso, Kavak and Belvo.

Jeeves was founded in 2020 on the premise that startups traditionally had to rely on local, country-specific financial infrastructure. For example, a business with employees in Mexico and Colombia would need multiple vendors to cover its finance function in each country – one corporate card in Mexico and one in Colombia and another vendor for cross-border payments.

The startup claims that by using its proprietary bank-as-a-service infrastructure, any business can grow its finance function “in minutes” and gain access to 30 days of credit on a corporate card (with 4% cashback). cash), non-rails card payment, as well as cross-border payments. Customers can also refund in multiple currencies, reducing foreign exchange (foreign transaction) fees.

For example, a growing business can use a Jeeves card in Barcelona and redeem it in euros and use the same card in Mexico and redeem it in pesos, reducing exchange fees and providing instant cross-currency expense reconciliation.

Thazhmon believes that the “biggest thing” the company is building is its own global BaaS layer, which relies on different banking entities in each country, and which the Jeeves application in contact with the end customer plugs into. .

“The way we see it is really owning the full payment stack,” Thazhmon told TechCrunch.

Like many other fintechs in this space, Jeeves has expanded its reach over time. For now at least, corporate cards – which now account for around 45% of Jeeves’ business – remain its flagship product.

“But we have other channels that are just as important and growing faster, including B2B payments, working capital loans, and Jeeves Growth, which is a revenue-based financing product,” Thazhmon added. .

As TechCrunch has extensively reported, the number of startups tackling enterprise spend and expense management continues to grow. On Monday, we reported that Ramp had raised $200 million and secured $550 million in debt at an $8.1 billion valuation.

“Space is growing, and so is the TAM,” Thazhmon said. “More businesses are going online every day and they need expense management.”

But in his view, the winners will be companies that “don’t just compete on credit, because then you’re competing to see who can get you money faster.”

“I think it’s when you’re competing on the infrastructure that you start to win, because then you really own the stack and you can start to extract efficiencies that you can’t if you’re not than a provider that connects to the local bank, for example,” he added.

Thazhmon also theorizes that there will one day be some kind of bifurcation between startups that focus strictly on credit and those that build infrastructure.

“What what we’re trying to do is build a bank-like relationship with the end user so that if you need payments, we can do it. If you need a loan, we can do it. If you need deposits, we can give them to you. If you want to start a business, you can open an account with us and go to any country with the currency you need,” Thazhmon told TechCrunch. “What separates what we provide from a lot of players is that we have our own infrastructure layer, and that’s the actual product that connects to different banking entities in different countries.”

Picture credits: Jeeves

That said, he thinks there will be many different players for different market segments.

“I don’t think this is a space where you’ll just have one company globally that owns everything,” Thazhmon added. “It’s just huge.”

The company plans to use its new capital for its expansion in Latin America, Canada and Europe, to evolve its infrastructure to cover more currencies, make more hires and “accelerate the integration of new companies on the platform”. Its goal is to cover more than 40 countries in the next three years. In the short term, it’s eyeing Southeast Asia, and potentially Saudi Arabia and Africa.

Jeeves – which describes itself as a remote hybrid with offices in Mexico City, London, Toronto and Sao Paulo – currently has 150 employees working in 10 countries. It has recently hired a number of new executives, including: Arpan Nanavati, formerly head of engineering at PayPal and director of engineering at Walmart, to serve as chief technology officer, and Trent Beckley, who was previously responsible for strategic partnerships at Google, to be the director of partnerships, among others.

A16Z general partner Angela Strange said her business tripled on Jeeves after leading his Series A and investing in his Series B as she saw the company “continue to perform very well”.

“Jeeves is building the premium financial operating system for global enterprises. Starting with credit cards, the company quickly evolved into local payments, multi-currency reconciliation and working capital loans,” she told TechCrunch. “Jeeves has built a truly scalable architecture where they can connect to each country’s local infrastructure, which not only allows Jeeves to provide the optimal user experience in each country, but also allows them to scale countries much faster.”

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