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Last year, 125 companies—including Amadeus North America,
Cargill, Hard Rock International and Wayfair—made Chrome River their expense management
firm. That's a 40 percent jump, to 430 clients representing more than a million
users, according to Chrome River. Developed to serve growing companies that
require agility, including those expanding to new countries, Chrome River is
ready to solidify its U.K. business and get going in Asia/Pacific.
BTN: You've expanded
from professional services and legal clients to communications, media,
education, higher education, energy, healthcare, insurance manufacturing,
nonprofits and retail, including Fortune
500 companies. Is there much competition for larger companies?
Roy: There are not
a lot of players in the upper-mid to large enterprise global market sector. Concur
[is] across the market, but they have a lot of traction in the enterprise market.
There wasn’t really an alternative to service this space. That’s why we were
able to raise $100
million from Great Hill Partners last year, as they saw the potential for
us to really start taking market share away from Concur.
BTN: And are you
taking market share away from Concur?
Roy: We do have
clients switching from Concur and others like [recently defunct IBM Global
Expense Reporting System]. One of the reasons customers are replacing Concur is
the drawn-out implementation[s]. Or, customers are realizing we’re able to
offer a better customer experience. We have a decent win-rate over Concur. We
don’t win every deal, but it’s a fair fight.
BTN: You noted that
you have direct sales in the United States and Canada and that reimbursements
through Chrome River go into banks in 90 countries. Do you plan to go after
potential clients based elsewhere?
Roy: In 2015,
about 15 percent of [clients] were headquartered outside the U.S., and that
number is growing. We’ve been in the U.K. the last couple of years. It’s the
satellite for all of Europe, but we’re focusing primarily on the U.K. We’re
going into Asia/Pacific and just hired someone who will be based in San Francisco
and will be working with potential West Coast and Asia/Pac customers. We don’t
want to be in every single country in the world at the same time. We have to
have foundational growth, build and be strategic about where we’re investing. In
software, you have to dominate the U.S. first. Now that we have a great
foothold in the U.S. and Canada, Europe is our next target, as well as Asia.
[We already have] the ability to handle complex [value-added tax], different
tax jurisdictions [and] configure the product to languages and currencies and
have sophisticated workflows that can be updated easily. We’re very well
positioned to be competitive in that market.
BTN: And Chrome River
sees definitive opportunity in Europe?
Roy: I lived in
Europe for 17 years. I know that market very well, and if the U.K. interests
we’re seeing in the pipeline are any indication, there is a huge runway of
opportunity there because there is a need for expense and invoice management. France
is equally an opportunity. There’s also a strong opportunity for partnership in
Europe. We’ll definitely be taking that route, as well as going direct [to
recently opened a European office and plans aggressive expansion there. Is it a growing competitor?
We haven’t seen them in [our] deals in the U.S.
at all. We anticipate it will be similar in Europe. They will be a great
down-market solution for companies with 100 employees or less.
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