Payhawk becomes the first-ever Bulgarian unicorn; raises $100M at a valuation of $1B

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Payhawk, a fintech startup that provides spending software to simplify expenses, payments and card spending for growing businesses, announced on Tuesday that it has raised an additional $100M (approx €89.16M) to extend its Series B round to $215M (approx €191.69M).

The first Bulgarian unicorn

The additional funds come only three months after Payhawk’s Series B round in November 2021 of $112M, which was the second-largest Series B for a B2B company in Central and Eastern Europe. With this investment, Payhawk is now valued at $1B and has become the first-ever Bulgarian company to earn the status of a ‘unicorn’.

Hristo Borisov, CEO and founder of Payhawk, says, “We always knew that we could build a big company if we addressed a significant problem in a large market. Becoming the first unicorn in Bulgaria is a huge testament to the hard work and resilience of our team over the last three and a half years. We are just at the beginning of our journey, and we cannot wait to continue reinventing how businesses manage their payments.”

Investors in this round

The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, a global venture capital firm that has over $10.5B assets under management. In addition, the round also includes participation from Sprints Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, HubSpot Ventures, and Jigsaw VC.

All existing investors, including Greenoaks, QED Partners and Earlybird Digital East, also invested in this round.

Arsham Memarzadeh, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, says, “Payhawk is more than just spend management software. It’s a one-stop shop for finance teams to consolidate the previously disparate systems required to spend, track, process, and budget corporate funds. After getting to know the team for over a year, we’ve been blown away with their pace of product development, building the most comprehensive solution in the market in less than four years.”

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Capital utilisation

Payhawk claims that it can now aggressively expand its presence in the mid-size enterprise market with the extra funds and continue its ambitious global expansion plans.

The funds will also help grow Payhawk’s product team by adding 60 additional senior software engineers in Sofia from the top 1 per cent of the market. The company says this will help them meet the growing customer demand for new features like mileage tracking and per diem, in light of the incremental return of business travel.

The company also has plans to add other features for enterprise customers, including Oracle Netsuite integration, Subscription Management and Budgets.

Payments and expense management platform

Founded in 2018 by Hristo Borisov and Boyko Karadzhov, and later joined by Konstantin Dzhengozov, Payhawk is a fintech startup that combines expense management, payments and invoice management in one solution and therefore works as a one-stop-shop for finance teams.

According to the company, finance teams still do a significant amount of manual work due to multiple disconnected tools for cards, payments, invoices, and expense management. Payhawk claims to reduce this by combining those key elements in a single platform. 

The company also provides an industry-first 3 per cent cashback on card payments up to the full subscription amount, enabling customers to drive their subscription costs to zero, while benefiting from enterprise-grade software. Currently, the company serves businesses in 30 countries across a variety of industries, currencies and payment methods.

In a statement, Payhawk says it is all set to open offices in Amsterdam and Paris in March, and in New York in September. The company’s headcount is also set to triple from 100 to more than 300 by the end of this year, with the extra funds set to boost a renewed sales and marketing push for further market expansion.

Some of Payhawk’s customers include LuxAir, Lotto24, Viking Life, Gtmhub, Flink, MacPaw, and By Miles. The company is also leading the digital transformation agenda of companies like A.T.U in Germany, where the product has replaced cash with company cards at more than 550 branches.

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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