The impact of becoming the country’s first unicorn

In March, we announced that we raised an additional $100m to extend our Series B round to $215m. The Series B extension was raised at a valuation of $1 billion, making Payhawk the first ever Bulgarian company to achieve unicorn status. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the funding extension, with Sprints Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, HubSpot Ventures and Jigsaw VC also joining the round. 

Satisfying businesses’ needs 

Currently, finance teams still do a significant amount of manual work due to multiple disconnected tools for cards, payments, invoices, and expense management. Payhawk reduces this by combining those key elements in a single platform. The company also provides an industry-first 3% 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.

 Payhawk emerges as the leading platform for large SMEs and enterprise customers, especially those with a multinational footprint. We serve businesses in 30 countries across a variety of industries, currencies and payment methods.

Our CEO and Co-founder Hristo Borisov, mentions, “We always knew that we could build a big company if we addressed a significant problem in a large market. The size of the opportunity still drives our growth and ambition today. Every employee that deals with company payments feels that there should be a better way to do it, but this huge problem was never tackled by a strong product team with a hardcore engineering background. This is what Payhawk brings to the market. ”

Attracting talent worldwide

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.” mentions Borisov.  

In the next months, we will add 60 additional senior software engineers in Sofia from the top 1% of the market.  Our headcount is set to triple from 100 employees in early 2022 to more than 300 by December 2022. We have offices in London, Sofia, Berlin and Barcelona, and we are planning to open new ones this year in Amsterdam, Paris and New York.

Innovation made in and for Europe

Recently Payhawk, together with other startups, met EU’s Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen in Sofia. The purpose of her visit was to give the green light to Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. Bulgaria’s allocation, a total of €6.3 billion —10% of the country’s GDP — will be distributed in grants over the next four years. More than 80% of the funds will be designated to the green and digital transition. “We built Payhawk to solve one of the biggest pain-points for finance teams: managing expenses. We also realized that by implementing digital solutions across business functions such as Payhawk, companies of every size can make their operations greener and digital in an easy and affordable way”, says Borisov.  

Inspiring local entrepreneurs

The story of Payhawk becoming Bulgaria’s first unicorn inspires local entrepreneurs to move forward and create outstanding products. I hear many times that Europe’s ecosystem has been less effective— than the United States — at turning start-ups into late-stage successes. Maybe we were just a bit slower, but stay tuned, as more spiraling horns are coming, says Borisov.