Airbase, a business expense management startup, announced this morning that it is now supporting affiliates in different countries for US-based companies. As more companies turn to remote working and a large number of startups are created across multiple continents, the new capability could boost Airbase’s effective total addressable market.
The product news is interesting, but even more so when you consider Airbase’s feature decisions in the larger context of the enterprise expense management space itself. Competing startups in the market offer customers corporate cards and a software suite to help them manage expenses more broadly, as well as other features that vary depending on the vendor in question.
TechCrunch has generated a lot of ink in recent months following Air Base competitors Ramp and Brex, for example, as they raise capital and seek to differentiate their products to better serve their target markets. They do this through both pricing decisions and feature choices.
Airbase, although perhaps less well-known than its rivals, made the decision early on to charge for its software in addition to earning trading income from its activities. Brex has added a set of paid software at a price suitable for SMEs. Ramp is sticking to his zero cost weapons for now.
Now, with support for international affiliates and currencies for US-based companies, Airbase is executing its vision of providing expense management services to businesses from inception to IPO, said founder and CEO Thejo Kote at TechCrunch in an interview.
In more detailed terms, Airbase supports payments in some 200 countries, as well as support for moving money more generally in a smaller geographic area.
Product timeliness is part of Airbase’s goal of supporting businesses even as they grow. Other competitors in its market are more focused on SMEs, it seems. Not that it’s a diss; offering business expense services as a free package has proven to be lucrative for some businesses looking to integrate a multitude of small businesses. Divvy did and sold for over $ 1 billion. And Ramp and Brex are evaluating their services to make them affordable for small businesses.
Airbase offers a free tier, but more as a method of attracting customers who could become big accounts in time, he explained. These large accounts are the goal of the startup. Kote said in a conversation that his company now has a number of customers paying six figures per year for its software, a change from when the company raised $ 60 million earlier this year, when de such account sizes were rarer.
By adding more capacity for multinational companies, Airbase might be able to attract more large customers, which in turn would generate both software and trading revenue for the startup.
Kote also disclosed new growth metrics for Airbase, albeit in relative rather than absolute terms. The startup has multiplied annual recurring revenue – a metric that calculates annualized subscription software sales in a business – by 3.5 in the past 12 months, he said, and by 2 in the last. semester. Kote also revealed that his business is “approaching” $ 2 billion in annualized payment volume through its service, up 5 times over the past 12 months.
Now digesting its Series B, Airbase has gone from baby boot metrics, and we’ll expect something a little more difficult the next time we cover the business.
Yet, as Airbase seeks to support large corporations longer, we’re seeing an interesting discrepancy among startups when it comes to corporate spending battling for North American market share. With three major players charging nothing, a little and a lot, it’s not hard to guess where each will be focusing their product efforts in terms of customer.