Startups

Mesh Payments racks up $50M to help corporate users manage spend and payments

Comment

cascade of credit cards
Image Credits: Damien Meyer (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Now that the world appears to have settled longer-term into working in a significantly more distributed way in the wake of COVID-19, companies are getting more serious about using tools to manage how their teams operate within those new parameters. Today, a startup that’s addressing that challenge and how it relates specifically to expenses is announcing some funding.

Mesh Payments, which provides a platform for companies to oversee and manage employees’ expenses, and for employees themselves to better track and manage how and where they spend money, has raised $50 million. It plans to use the funding to continue expanding the functionality of its platform, as well as for further business development. It’s been on a growth boom in the last nine months, growing tenfold in that period, it said.

The round, a Series B, is being led by the very prolific Tiger Global, with participation also from Entrée Capital and Falcon Edge Capital, as well as past backers TLV Partners and Meron Capital. Mesh Payments — founded in Israel and now headquartered in New York — had previously raised $13 million, and it is not disclosing valuation.

Currently the company’s tools cover areas like travel expenses, spend cards and other forms of spend management, but potentially the more interesting aspect of how Mesh works lies in its name.

Mesh Payments’ platform integrates with various other pieces of software and apps that a company might use to run its business, and continually scans that network to determine whether a particular purchase is a useful one, or one that might be overlapping with something that already exists, not to mention not in line with other parts of a company’s specific expenditure policy.

“We start with the notion that there is different context to different kinds of spend,” Oded Zehavi, co-founder and CEO of Mesh Payments, said in an interview. “The process for a trip versus software differs, so we started building models for these unique cases.”

Today, the platform integrates with the likes of QuickBooks, Slack, NetSuite, Xero, G Suite from Google and more. “We are adding more connectors to connect data from organizations’ services on the cloud to be exposed to more company behavior,” he said. “The combination of that data and the intelligence that we designed in a more superior way is what sets us apart.”

So, for example, if an employee suddenly decides to set up an iCloud storage subscription, Mesh would scan the network to determine if that fits with corporate policy, and would also set out to see if the organization already has an account with another cloud storage company. If either of those questions raises a flag, the purchase is flagged, too.

Employees get notifications of these, as do spend managers on the finance team. It’s up to the finance team to decide how strict they would like the policy to be: whether purchases are blocked, or rejected in the aftermath, or issued with a warning/alert.

Understandably, the system requires some substantial onramping from customers: they have to already be working in a digital enough way in order for Mesh’s modelling to work to its best ability. So unsurprisingly, the current customer list is heavy with technology companies, which are already working in the cloud and thus representing an easy port to working with Mesh: Monday.com, Hippo Insurance, Sezzle, Riskified and Snyk are on the list.

As recent rounds for Pleo (which raised at a $4.7 billion valuation just last week) and Soldo (which raised $180 million in July) show, there is currently a huge appetite in the market for better and more updated tools for managing expenses, both at a time when employees may be needing to spend more independently than before because of how they’re working, but also because companies are simply looking to get smarter and come to grips with the systems and financial management they have in place.

Mesh’s focus on larger businesses gives it a very wide funnel, targeting an area that has been particularly rife with legacy tools from companies like SAP (although to be fair they are all focusing on improving user experience and tapping into modern technology more).

Nevertheless, it’s a massive opportunity that is likely to stay, just like at least some of our newly distributed working practices.

“Mesh Payments is an example of a true disruptor — a company who’s innovations are transforming an already-established industry,” said John Curtius, a partner at Tiger Global who led this investment, in a statement. “We’re proud to support a business that continues to deliver on its ambitions, and we look forward to helping Mesh modernize the payments space even further.”

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo