Brex-rival Ramp more than doubles valuation to $3.9bn after Thiel’s Founders Fund-led round

FinTech startup that offers corporate cards and software for managing employee expenses Ramp valued at $3.9bn after a $300m funding round led by billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

The New York-based firm last raised money in April at a $1.6bn valuation. The fresh funding round saw participation from Redpoint Ventures, Thrive Capital, D1 Capital Partners, Spark Capital, Coatue Management, Iconiq, Altimeter, Stripe, Lux Capital, A* Partners, Definition Capital, Honeycomb, Kinetic, and other existing investors.

The company, which has raised over $620m to date in a mix of equity and debt financing, intends to use the funds to accelerate the development of its finance automation platform. Ramp CEO Eric Glyman says the firm will continue building out a finance automation platform that does three things – “eliminate busywork, identify savings opportunities, and actively secure those savings.”

Founded in March 2019, Ramp allows businesses to get corporate cards and payments with built-in expense and accounting automation software. It makes money by taking a share of the interchange fee that is paid by the merchant every time a user spends through its card. The suite also features accounting automation, real-time reporting of expenses and the ability to integrate with various software programs, including Google, Slack, and Intuit Quickbooks among others.

The company, which competes with legacy players including American Express and disruptors such as Brex, has lured various small- and medium-sized businesses by promising to save users money and time. Over 2,000 US businesses like Ro, DoNotPay, Better, ClickUp, Applied Intuition, Bristol Hospice, Walther Farms, Douglas Elliman, and Planned Parenthood are now using the company’s platform. That’s led to strong growth since its February 2020 launch: Ramp said total cardholders have surged by five times this year and transaction volumes have tripled since April.

Ramp also intends to expand its product offering as a result of the Buyer acquisition. By combining Buyer’s team with benchmarking spend data from millions of transactions on its platform, the company wants to help its customers negotiate the best rate on anything that can be purchased with a card—from travel to software—with the goal of shifting purchasing power back into the hands of buyers.

In conjunction with the funding, Ramp also acquired Buyer, a “negotiation-as-a-service” platform that claims to save its clients an average of 27.3% on big-ticket purchases, such as annual software contracts. With the addition of the 10-person Buyer team, Glyman said Ramp will be able to offer its customers a “customized and proactive approach” to savings on large purchases.

“There are more B2B growth SaaS companies than ever before, and they’re better at charging than they’ve ever been,” he said. “Buyer is viewed as the leader of a generation of startups that are trying to flip the tables and actually help customers negotiate rates down. Very large companies might have procurement departments to negotiate rates, but for those who don’t, Buyer is very skilled at identifying what new contracts are coming up and negotiating them down.” It has saved its customers about 27% on SaaS contracts.

The fundraising is the latest evidence of a FinTech boom after the pandemic supercharged the sector. FinTech firms around the world garnered a record $98bn in venture capital, mergers and private equity investments in the first half of 2021, according to KPMG. Giants including Robinhood and Coinbase are now publicly traded companies, while retail banking startups like Chime have swelled in valuation.

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