To celebrate the opening of its UK office in London, the first in Europe, Expensify is offering new European customers its cloud-based expense reporting solution free of charge until the end of 2016 for those who register before June 2016. Expensify is the fastest growing expense reporting software around at the moment according to a Gartner Report. Expensify grew 136% in 2014 and Forbes listed them as one of the hottest start-ups of 2015.
Expensify is one of several start-ups in the expense management space. It is not only the largest but also the fastest growing, potentially threatening Concur in the future although it already coexists with Concur in some companies. There are already more than 2.5 million users and 300,000 companies using the software worldwide. It also set the benchmark for pricing which during its first months in commercial operation according to David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify.
International expansion can be costly and while Expensify supports US travellers abroad this will be its first real step into internationalisation. It will not only be a threat to companies like Concur and KDS who operate in the UK, but also some of the other UK startups in this space. For its competitors in the US such as Abacus it shows a level of commercial maturity that they can only dream of and there is a risk that Abacus will fall behind in the mainstream expense reporting market.
For Barrett, London was a logical step with commenting: “Expensify has revolutionized the expense management space in the US. The UK is a hotbed for the growing financial tech sector, so London was an obvious choice for our international expansion. Our UK team is looking forward to bringing on many new clients and better serving the nearly 1000 existing UK Expensify customers.”
Partnerships with Accounting not ERP
What is interesting is that Expensify has chosen to ask their partner Xero to help launch in the UK. This is a sensible move as Xero has more than 100,000 customers in the UK. It is also currently engaged in a vigorous radio advertising campaign to gather new business in the SME market. With Xerocon being held this week in Battersea it will be interesting to see what presence Expensify have there.
Expensify integrates seamlessly with Xero and Gary Turner, Managing Director of Xero commenting how pleased he was that the US relationship now extends into the UK said: “ At the click of a button, customers using Expensify and Xero will see their expenses flow directly into the accounting platform – saving time and avoiding data entry mistakes.
“We will continue to champion any innovation that makes the Xero user experience easier, so that small business owners can get on with growing their business.”
This innovation to which Turner refers to was also flagged by Apple Inc. who chose both Xero and Expensify to be part of their mobility partnership program. The program supports companies seeking to and succeeding in bringing innovative solutions to iOS devices.
That Expensify will now be fully supported with a UK team will be welcome news to many. For those CIO’s looking for an expenses solutions it should be included on their short list of options going forward. Expensify now need to expand their footprint in the UK from their current base of 1000 companies. While Xero will no doubt help them achieve this they may also need to look to ERP solutions that they can partner/integrate with to attack some of the larger companies.
This is not just a solution for smaller companies as its public customer list shows. Companies such as BP, Forbes, Yahoo, Uber and Omega have already taken it on. It will be interesting to see what growth the new team in London can achieve, not just with smaller companies but also as they look to capture a share of the corporate market.