Navan takes a swipe at expense management startups with new Mastercard and Visa partnerships


Stack of credit cards
Image Credits: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Want more fintech news in your inbox? Sign up here.

In recent years, a number of startups have made a business out of providing corporate credit cards to companies. These players compete not only with each other but with legacy providers such as Concur and Expensify by offering automated expense management.

Many of these startups generate revenue from interchange fees, meaning that they receive a certain percentage of each transaction made on the corporate card they have provided. Ramp, for example, is one such company. Some of those startups also make money by charging subscriptions for their expense management software. Brex, which started out as primarily a corporate card provider, made a big push last year into software. 

Navan (formerly known as TripActions) offers both a corporate card as well as a subscription to its software. In a twist, the company today is announcing the launch of a new product called Navan Connect, which it describes as a patented card-link technology that gives businesses a way to offer automated expense management and reconciliation without having to change their corporate card provider. For the initial launch, Navan has partnered with Mastercard and Visa, with plans to announce additional network tie-ups in the near future.

The move is significant in that Navan is essentially addressing a presumably large market of companies that would prefer to continue working with an existing bank partner for a variety of reasons but want the option to offer more modern ways to manage expenses. Filing expense reports is by far one of employees’ least favorite tasks, but the rationale behind automating the process goes beyond simply eliminating expense reports – it also is aimed at giving companies more insight into how and where employees are spending so that it can identify ways to trim costs in the future and ensure company policy is applied onto the card.

Now, by integrating Navan’s technology, any corporate Visa or Mastercard user would have the option to do things like set policies and budgets they’re trying to administer and then have all expenses automatically reconciled and filed, according to Michael Sindicich, executive vice president and general manager of Navan Expense.

“When we talk with customers, some of them want our cards and they want our credit, but we also see – especially larger companies – some who have existing banking relationships and corporate cards who want better tools to manage their employees,” Sindicich told TechCrunch. “In the past when you are going with one of the new players, including Navan, you are beholden to taking the cards they issue. But what we’ve done allows us to connect with the Visas and Mastercards of the world and still get that real-time reconciliation.”

Image Credits: Navan

Navan appears to not be concerned about its new Connect product competing with its own corporate card offering.

Historically, Sindicich said, Navan has charged licensing fees and software fees for its expense and travel products. It charges trip fees, and sometimes implementation fees. And it makes “some commissions” from suppliers and some interchange commissions from card swipes. 

“But for us, it was never about being a bank,” he told TechCrunch. “So, Connect would cannibalize the money we can make from our Navan cards on the interchange. but we were giving that interchange most of it back as rebates to the customers anyway. And I don’t think that we or Silicon Valley has any right to say we are going to innovate by building a better bank against some of these larger banks that are out there. They’re better at underwriting. They’re better at managing capital and raising capital. What Navan can provide is this technology and partner with banks in order to offer this holistic solution. And so that’s where that’s where we’re focusing.”

Got a news tip or inside information about a topic we covered? We’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at Or you can drop us a note at Happy to respect anonymity requests.

More TechCrunch

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender Solo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient, and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

Consumer demand for the latest AI technology is heating up. The launch of OpenAI’s latest flagship model, GPT-4o, has now driven the company’s biggest-ever spike in revenue on mobile, despite…

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

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’

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

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.

3 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