Expense management is crucial for any business. But the process of managing various accounting and payments providers is even more challenging for businesses that lack the resources of a large finance team.
Ramp, the corporate-card startup aiming to help small businesses manage expenses and save more, just raised $150 million in debt financing from Goldman Sachs.
Historically, Ramp has funded its customers' spending with cash on hand. Now, it can lend from this pool of capital, freeing up cash to grow its team.
"A major portion of our balance sheet had gone to the growth of Ramp," Eric Glyman, cofounder and CEO of Ramp, told Insider. "This allows us to springboard and open up a lot of capital to grow faster."
The deal with Goldman was in part facilitated by Ramp's new head of risk, Srinath Srinivasan, a Goldman alum who joined the startup last November.
Srinivasan was an early member of Goldman's Marcus team, helping build its consumer-facing business that included partnerships like the Apple Card. After five years building consumer financial products focused on spend management and saving, Srinivasan joined Ramp to do the same for businesses.
"I was helping consumers manage their debt better and creating more transparency through the Apple Card product, as to where people are spending and how they can save," Srinivasan said. "Ramp had a very similar vision on the small business and corporate card side."
Since its public launch in February last year, Ramp had raised over $55 million in equity capital from investors including Coatue and Founders Fund.
Ramp is hoping to underwrite for a wider range of businesses
Now able to free up some of its venture capital, Ramp has its sights set on automating the day-to-day functions of a business' finance team.
"A major priority for us this year is to help automate all the aspects that finance teams face in automating expense management and accounting, and identifying areas of waste," Glyman said.
Beyond corporate cards, Ramp offers spend forecasting, accounting, and 1.5% cash back on a company's balance.
This year, Ramp plans to hire more engineers and product designers, as well as enhance its credit decisioning so it can expand the range of businesses it serves. Currently, Ramp serves a wide range of businesses, but has seen the most traction with mid-sized businesses that have between 20 and 200 employees.
The goal is to be able to underwrite any kind of business interested in Ramp's products, Srinivasan said.
Since joining, Srinivasan has been building out Ramp's risk management systems to make credit decisions based on data like sales numbers, P&L, and vendor spend.
"It'll give us the license, along with the debt we have from Goldman Sachs, to start thinking about expanding from the credit box standpoint," Srinivasan said.
To be sure, there's no shortage of competitors in the corporate card space. Between incumbents like Amex and fintechs like Brex, Ramp is operating in a crowded space. But this year, it's looking to grow through advertising and more partnerships with financial institutions.
"This year we hope to get a little bit louder," Glyman said.