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Payhawk, a corporate payments startup, is planning mergers and acquisitions to expand into the U.S. market and challenge big players like SAP, Brex, and Ramp. The company is aiming to acquire U.S.-based companies at the early stage of development to accelerate its growth. Payhawk believes it has a better product-market fit than its competitors, such as Brex and Ramp, which have achieved multibillion-dollar valuations by offering free corporate cards to startups.

The company operates as a corporate spend management platform that issues smart cards to employees for payments and expense tracking. Payhawk has seen significant growth in revenue and customer acquisition, particularly in the U.K., which now accounts for 27% of its overall revenue. To fuel its expansion in the U.S., Payhawk plans to leverage mergers and acquisitions as a key strategy to unlock further growth opportunities. The company aims to provide a single platform for corporate expense management, leading to potential market consolidation.

Payhawk’s CEO, Hristo Borisov, stated that the company is in continuous fundraising conversations to support its growth objectives. He mentioned that Payhawk’s recent growth has attracted interest from external investors, following a challenging period in 2022 and early 2023. While the company may consider raising a new venture round either in the current year or the next, its ultimate goal is to become a publicly listed company. Payhawk has secured investments from venture firms Lightspeed, Greenoaks, and Earlybird, raising a total of $240 million to date.

In the U.S. market, Payhawk has partnered with American Express under the Sync Commercial Partner Program, enabling the issuance of virtual cards that earn rewards based on user spending. The company aims to achieve better unit economics compared to competitors like Brex and Ramp, who are still exploring product-market fit for the evolving corporate payment market. Payhawk’s growth in the U.K. and globally has been fueled by a surge in customers and revenue, highlighting the potential for further expansion in the U.S. market through strategic acquisitions.

Borisov emphasized that market consolidation is anticipated in the corporate payment space, as businesses that were funded in recent years are now exploring strategic options. Payhawk’s vision is to offer a comprehensive platform that addresses all corporate expense needs through a single provider. By pursuing mergers and acquisitions, the company aims to establish a strong presence in the U.S. and solidify its position against established players like SAP and emerging competitors like Brex and Ramp.

While Payhawk’s immediate focus is on expanding its footprint in the U.S. through strategic acquisitions, the company’s long-term goal is to go public. Borisov expressed the firm’s commitment to an IPO, contingent on market conditions and realities. The company’s vision of providing a unified platform for corporate expense management underscores its ambition to become a publicly listed entity in the future. With ongoing fundraising efforts and support from investors who share its vision, Payhawk aims to realize its objective of becoming a leading player in the corporate payments industry and potentially entering the public market.

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