Why We Invested in PayEm
PayEm, the spend and procurement platform for the modern corporate, came out of stealth today and announced $27M in funding, including a recent $20M Series A led by our early growth fund Glilot+. PayEm’s end-to-end platform solves a fundamental problem for enterprises – the ongoing fragmentation in corporate financial tools, and has seen tremendous growth since coming to market earlier this year. Here’s why we led PayEm’s Series A round.
I used to hate doing my expenses 20 years ago, and to be honest, I still hate doing them today. It’s amazing how little has changed on that front for most organizations, despite two decades of progress, in how corporate spend and procurement processes are managed – approved, expensed, paid for, reconciled, recorded and reported. For years, employees had to either pay for expenses out of pocket and go through a painful reimbursement process, or hunt down a corporate credit card, which was usually distributed only to managers. The finance people had it worse – they relied on employees to report expenses accurately, which seldom happened, meaning a never ending chase after employees and their receipts to reconcile expenses correctly.
We at Glilot have been looking for startups solving these problems for a while, but have only come across solutions that take a narrow approach, that is, handling either expense approvals, reimbursements, the actual payments, or back-office spend management. This is why PayEm’s end-to-end holistic vision excites us. PayEm replaces a stack of point solutions with a single platform that serves the needs of both employees, managers and financial officers.
PayEm’s platform is particularly impressive since it can handle employee expense or procurement requests, get them easily and quickly approved by the relevant corporate person, pay for the expense digitally, document the expense automatically in the correct financial accounts and reconcile receipts properly – all with full integration to existing ERP systems. PayEm’s solution is thus the first that can serve not only small businesses with simple financial processes, but also larger corporations with more sophisticated needs. In particular, PayEm is suited for modern enterprises with global presence, and can operate across 200 countries and 130 currencies! It therefore wasn’t a surprise to us that PayEm had among its hundreds of customers leading global organizations such as JFrog, Fiverr, Next Insurance, and many others.
When we think about “early growth” for Glilot+, we want to find companies that can demonstrate they’ve hit product-market fit, and that their solution resonates with a rapidly growing number of customers. PayEm embodies the definition of “early growth” for us. Just as we worked on our investment, PayEm was bringing in new customers and growing per-customer adoption at an impressive rate. Customer feedback was as strong as it could be, suggesting that the solution had struck a chord with a broad range of organizations and that the company’s tremendous growth in Q2’21 was only the beginning.
We were equally impressed with founders Itamar and Omer and the entire management team they’ve assembled. We related deeply to their product-first, customer-focused approach to spend management and procurement – a truly passionate ambition to simplify an annoying, time-consuming and inefficient aspect of corporate life. We couldn’t be more excited to join the PayEm team, as well as our fellow investors Pitango, NFX, LocalGlobe, Fresh Fund and others, as we build what I believe will shape up to be the financial operating system of the future.