Fast-growing fintech Jeeves has secured $180 million in a Series C round, valuing the business at $2.1 billion, less than seven months after completing on a $57 million Series B transaction. In recent years, financial technology businesses raising many rounds in a short period of time have become the standard rather than the exception. Nonetheless, the speed at which Jeeves has grown and increased in value is amazing.
Jeeves, which bills itself as “an all-in-one corporate card and cost management platform for global startups,” was valued at $500 million when it secured funds in September. This implies that in just over six months, it has tripled in value. It’s also worth noting that Jeeves just went public in March 2021, after emerging from stealth in June with $31 million in equity and $100 million in debt. Jeeves was a member of Y Combinator’s summer batch in the summer of 2020.
Its success demonstrates how competitive — and profitable — the corporate card and expenditure management market has grown. Jeeves, for example, claims that since its Series B round was announced in September, sales has increased by 900 percent and its customer base has grown to over 3,000 firms. It has also surpassed $1.3 billion in yearly gross transaction volume (GTV), with the goal of reaching $4 billion by the end of the year.
“I noticed we had more than quadrupled sales compared to the entire month of November when I created the preliminary Series C deck in December,” said Dileep Thazhmon, CEO and creator of Jeeves. “Then we pulled in more income in the first two months of 2022 than we did in the entire year of 2021.” GIC, Stanford University, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), CRV, Silicon Valley Bank, FT Partners, Clocktower Ventures, Urban Innovation Fund, Haven Ventures, Gaingels, Spike Ventures, the family offices of two FAANG founders, and Carlo Enrico, president of Latin America and the Caribbean for Mastercard, were among the investors in the latest round. The firm has raised more than $380 million in the last year.
“We ended up with five term sheets,” Thazhmon told TechCrunch, “which was a validation during a time when we’re seeing more due diligence than we had previously and a more difficult fundraising environment.” “The market in January and February looked substantially different than it did in December.” So, what exactly does Jeeves do? According to the company, it offers underwriting, local currency credit, and payment rails “for any business spend across nations and currencies.” It presently has clients in 24 countries spanning North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Europe, including Bitso, Kavak, and Belvo, among others, who are a mix of high-growth startups, e-commerce enterprises, and SMEs.
Jeeves was formed in 2020 on the assumption that entrepreneurs have previously had to rely on local and country-specific finance infrastructure. A firm with employees in Mexico and Colombia, for example, would need different suppliers to serve its financial function in each nation – a corporate card in Mexico and another in Colombia, as well as a vendor for cross-border payments. The business says that any organization can set up its finance department “in minutes” using its unique banking-as-a-service architecture and have access to 30 days of credit on a corporate card (with 4% cash back), non-card payment rails, and cross-border payments. Customers may also pay in several currencies, which cuts down on FX (foreign exchange) expenses.
For example, a developing company may use a Jeeves card in Barcelona and pay it back in euros, then use the same card in Mexico and pay it back in pesos, eliminating FX expenses and allowing for rapid cross-currency expenditure reconciliation. The “largest thing” the business is building up, according to Thazhmon, is its own global BaaS layer, which sits across various financial companies in each nation and into which the end user customer-facing Jeeves app plugs in.
Thazhmon told TechCrunch, “The way we look at it, we’re actually owning the complete payment stack.” Jeeves, like many other fintechs in this field, has grown in scope over time. For the time being, Jeeves’ headline product is corporate cards, which account for around 45 percent of the company’s revenue.
“However, we have other channels that are equally significant and expanding faster, such as B2B payments, working capital loans, and Jeeves Growth, a revenue-based financing product,” Thazhmon explained. The number of companies targeting corporate expenditure and spending management continues to rise, as TechCrunch has widely chronicled. We announced on Monday that Ramp had raised $200 million and secured $550 million in debt at a valuation of $8.1 billion.
“The TAM, like the space, is expanding,” Thazhmon added. “Every day, more businesses come online, and they require expenditure control.” However, he believes that the firms who “don’t only compete on credit because then you’re fighting on who can give you cash faster” would be the victors. “I believe that when you compete on infrastructure, you start winning because you own the stack and you start extracting efficiencies that you can’t get if you’re simply a supplier tapping into the local bank,” he continued.
Thazhmon also believes that there will be a split in the future between businesses who are just focused on lending and those that are focused on infrastructure development. “What we’re attempting to do is establish a bank-like relationship with the end customer so that we can handle payments.” We can lend you money if you need it. We can provide you with deposits if you require them. If you want to create a business, you can register an account with us and go to any place using any money,” Thazhmon told TechCrunch. “What sets us apart from the competition is that we have our own infrastructure layer, which is the real product that links to various banking organizations in various countries.”