Jeppe Rindom & Niccolo Perra/Pleo.
Pleo set to axe 15% of its staff amid wider fintech layoffs
The move from Pleo comes in contrast to the firm’s rapid European expansion and rich investment rounds over the past 12 months.
In a blog post explaining the news, the start-up said it is no longer operating under a “growth first” mandate but is instead focusing on “growth through focus and efficiency”.
The news follows a period of extremely aggressive expansion at the firm.
The company raised around $350m over the course of 2021 — $150 million in July 2021, followed by another $200 million in December 2021 — with both rounds earmarked to fund its European expansion.
The rounds gave the company a valuation of $4.7bn, making it one of the most valuable fintech firms in Europe.
Since Pleo was founded in Copenhagen in 2015, by Jeppe Rindom and Niccolo Perra, both ex-employees of supply chain network Tradeshift, the firm claims it has acquired over 20,000 clients, including Hello Fresh, LYST, and E.ON.
In addition to spend management software solutions, the company also offers branded company cards based on Mastercard, which integrate with the rest of its offerings.
Pleo has launched in 12 countries during the past 12 months and says it has onboarded around 100 new employees a month.
And despite the wider layoffs, Pleo has made some key hires at the senior level, including new head of UK and Ireland Abigail Slater, who recently joined the company from American Express.
Unfortunately, Pleo is not the only fintech firm which has announced significant layoffs in recent months.
San Francisco-based payments giant Stripe announced last week that it is set to lay off 14 per cent of staff, around 1,000 people, citing “stubborn inflation, energy shocks, higher interest rates, reduced investment budgets and sparser startup funding”.
Billing and subscription fintech Chargebee is another fintech that has decided to trim down its workforce, announcing it set to slash around 10 per cent of its employees — around 142 people — last week.