Brex, Ramp tout their view of the future as Divvy is said to consider a sale to

Earlier today recent dog-parent Alex Konrad and fellow Forbes staffer Eliza Haverstock broke the news that Divvy, a Utah-based corporate spend unicorn, is considering selling itself to for a price that could top $2 billion. For the fintech sector, it’s big news.

Corporate spend startups including Ramp and Brex are raising rapid-fired rounds at ever-higher valuations and growing at venture-ready cadences. Their growth and its resulting private investment were earned by a popular approach to offering corporate cards, and, increasingly, the group’s ability to build software around those cards that took into account a greater portion of the functionality that companies needed to track expenses, manage spend access, and, perhaps, save money.

The latter category was what Ramp focused on when it launched. It worked. More recently Ramp added expense tracking efforts to its own software suite. And Brex, an early leader in its efforts to get corporate cards into the hands of smaller, and more nascent businesses, has also built out its software efforts. So much so that the company, in conjunction with its huge recent fundraise, announced that it will begin offering a software package for a monthly fee.

Competitors like Airbase charge for their code, while some, like Divvy, traditionally have not.

Enter As the software work from the corporate spend startups has improved, it may have begun cutting into the corporate payments and expense software categories. For in the payments world, and Expensify in the expense universe, that possible incursion could prove to be a growth-retarding concern. Thus, it makes sense to see decide to take on the yet-private corporate spend startups that are playing the field; why not absorb a growing customer base and fend off competition in a single move?

To get a better handle on how the startups that compete with Divvy feel about the deal, TechCrunch reached out to both Ramp CEO Eric Glyman, and Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras. We’ll start with Glyman, who broadly agrees with our read of the situation:

From a customer perspective, the question isn’t which spend platforms should I use, it’s more along the lines of “How can I run a more efficient business?” We believe customers are looking for streamlined, single-platform payment solutions, rather than siloed offerings (one product for credit, one product for ACH, another for reimbursements, another for spend insights, etc). If the acquisition rumors are accurate, it seems recognized this and made an offer to acquire Divvy to stay competitive.

Naturally Glyman is bullish on Ramp’s ability to deliver on that single-platform effort, saying that his company is a “year ahead of the competition.”

Brex’s Dubugras has a similarly sunny take on the news. Asked whether Divvy was selling to a larger company because it was falling behind in an increasingly competitive, and well-capitalized market, here’s what the CEO had to say:

The market is moving toward Brex’s vision of all-in-one finance. Banks have been trying to achieve this for some time through acquisitions. The issue is they don’t always integrate well. Every company will approach this differently — our vision is to build an integrated ecosystem from the ground up, versus just offering multiple products.

You have to give the man three points for staying on message.

Between the lines of corporate enthusiasm, both CEOs cite the power of an integrated, or single-platform, offering that blends spend tools with spend control software. Thus the news fits with our read of the market, especially as Expensify’s IPO is now almost fully baked.

We also asked Brex if the deal would make it easier for it to grow — with a competitor agglomed onto a larger, slower company’s empire — or perhaps harder for it to fend off acquisition offers that may crop up. Dubugras responded that his company is seeing “triple digit growth in 2021” and is currently “look[ing] forward to acquisitions of [its] own.”

Our next question is what comes next, another acquisition in the corporate spend startup space and/or an IPO? We’ll see.