Danish startup Pleo has announced that it plans to lay off around 15% of the company’s workforce. As the company currently has nearly 1,000 employees, it could affect up to 150 people. Pleo develops expense management tools for SMBs around Europe.
“I’ll be honest. Pleo today, at the point of almost 1,000 employees and with our focus across 16 different countries, feels so different than just 12 months ago,“ co-founder and CEO Jeppe Rindom wrote in a blog post.
“Yet the world has changed and our next chapter will look different. We’re no longer operating under a ‘growth first’ mandate but rather a reality of ‘growth through focus and efficiency’. Focus on the many markets we now serve and focus on driving efficiency in everything we do. And what got us here, is not what will get us there,” he added later.
As a reminder, Pleo raised $150 million in July 2021 — and then another $200 million in December 2021. Following this Series C round, the company reached a $4.7 billion valuation. It became one of Europe’s most valued fintech company.
“We’ve made our priorities and set our strategy for the coming year. And sadly this is impacting 15% of our roles, up to 150 of our colleagues may have to leave. Each and every one has played an instrumental role in making Pleo what we are today. And I’d like to believe that Pleo is more than just any place of work. Pleo is about people. […] And that makes this decision extra hard and emotional. It’s difficult. Yet needed,” Rindom wrote.
Pleo grew at a rapid pace. Last year, the company had 20,000 customers across six countries — Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the U.K. The company now operates in 16 different countries. Pleo competes with Spendesk and Payhawk.
The startup issues company cards with individual and team spending limits. When an employee buys something, they can attach the receipt of the expense in Pleo directly. The platform also supports out-of-pocket expenses in case you have to pay in cash and get reimbursed later.
Finally, Pleo syncs expenses with accounting tools, such as Sage, Xero and QuickBooks. The company also offers an invoice management product to replace your existing accounts payable solution. The idea is that Pleo can help you automate many of the processes that come with spending your company’s money.
And yet, Pleo may have grown too quickly. It is going to be difficult to raise more money at the same valuation. Pleo now has a longer runway, but some employees will have to leave the company, unfortunately.