A Chat with Hristo Borisov, CEO at Smart Company Card Startup: Payhawk

At Payhawk, we are building the financial system of tomorrow. Our goal is to close the gap between traditional bank payments and enterprise resource planning systems. We empower the financial teams to manage all company spending like company cards, supplier payments, reimbursements and invoices into a single system.

The company was founded in July 2018 by myself and Boyko Karadzhov. We both come from enterprise software backgrounds. The company currently employs more than 35 people across London, Berlin, Barcelona and Sofia who serve customers in 23 countries around the world. Payhawk has attracted more than 25m USD by investors like Earlybird, QED, Eleven and more.
Payhawk - hellotax

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

We stumbled upon the idea. Our initial focus was to create a virtual card that protects companies from overspending on subscriptions. After speaking to more than 30 CFOs over the course of 2 months, we quickly realized that everytime CFOs ask about a physical card and the painful reconciliation of expenses every month. We looked at the scape and decided to create a company that is solving a horizontal problem.

Payhawk offers dedicated bank accounts to its customers from which they can manage company cards, supplier payments, and reimbursements. We decided to build a lot of automation around this account such as data extraction in 60+ languages from every invoice, advanced approval workflows and flexible spend policies that ensure your team is spending according to budget and within the rules the finance team has defined.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

We were initially concerned that the lack of travel would decrease the demand for our solution, but we were able to actually grow 10x during 2020. The demand of managing larger online budgets and keeping your remote team under control quickly topped the agenda of a lot of businesses. And with our virtual cards and team cards that help finance teams manage a budget, but also empower employees, we achieved very good results.

What can we hope to see from Payhawk in the future?

Plenty of innovation. We are a software company, and building great products is in our DNA, and our goal is to reimagine the way payments work today. We are already seeing great feedback from customers who manage their operations and finances a lot more efficiently with smaller headcount. We plan to continue building automation, smart services and increase the support of countries and currencies in which we operate.

There is global demand for products like Payhawk, since enterprises today use different card and payment providers in every market they operate, so there is a great push for consolidation that we plan to serve.