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Paying dividends: Carlo Gualandri, CEO of Soldo

Carlo Gualandri, CEO of expenses management specialists Soldo, speaks with Acuris Capital Intelligence about the company’s growth plans and how it intends to back its expansion path.

Interview by Valentina Caiazzo

Q. What are your growth projects?

We expect to carry on expanding in the business expenses management market while also growing into new verticals, especially in new technologies. The volume of yearly revenue in the European expenses management space is around €180 billion and there is plenty of space for Soldo to expand its business organically. We also aim to enlarge the services offered via Soldo’s proprietary platform, as well as becoming a full payment manager for our corporate clients.

Q. How are you planning to fund your business expansion?

To back our near-term plans, we launched a Series C funding round in July, where we raised €153 million. The round was oversubscribed and led by Singapore firm Temasek. New investors such as Sunley House Capital, Advent International's crossover fund, and Citi Ventures joined the round, together with existing investors Accel, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. Going forward, to ensure the business has the necessary capital to keep up with its predicted fast-paced expansion, Soldo could assess options for a Series D round in 24 months.

Q. Do you usually work with advisors?

In our Series C round, Soldo was financially advised by Goldman Sachs. We are likely to hire advisors again for future transactions. Due to the complexity of the funding process and the amount of work it requires, we came to understand that the support of an external advisor is an added value.

Q. What kind of investors would Soldo preferably take on board?

We will look to attract financial investors as well as financial services companies. However, the latter would only be able to acquire a minority stake, as a larger investment by a trade player could lead to a progressive incorporation of the firm and we want to remain independent.

A bit of background: Carlo Gualandri is the CEO and founder of Soldo, an expenses management platform based on the company’s full- owned technology stack. The platform allows Soldo to integrate with leading accounting software—including NetSuite, QuickBooks, Zucchetti, and Xero—and customers can connect with over 50 expense management platforms such as Concur and Expensify via Mastercard Smart Data.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.