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Courtesy of Divvy

Local ‘Venmo on steroids for business’ startup raises $10.5M in first funding round

By Liesl Nielsen, | Posted - May. 4, 2018 at 7:33 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — For local entrepreneurs Alex Bean and Blake Murray, there was always a pain point in business that festered more often than the rest.

Both had worked in the corporate world for years and experienced the tediousness and inefficiency of the end-of-the-month expense report.

So the two spent nearly two years creating Divvy: an expense management platform affectionately nicknamed “Venmo on steroids for business.” Four months after they completed the product, Divvy raised $10.5 million during its first funding round.

“We got offers from literally every venture capital group that I can think of, from New York to Silicon Valley,” said Sterling Snow, vice president of marketing at Divvy. “I’ve never seen inbound interest like this from VCs before. People were telling us that they’ve (been) looking for a company like ours for the last five years and hadn't seen it until they sat down with Blake.”

Divvy ultimately partnered with local VC firm Pelion Venture Partners and hopes to remain local and "go all in on Utah."

Since then, the startup has created some buzz in the local tech community as well, and CEOs from several prominent Utah companies have thrown their monetary hats in the ring, including Pluralsight’s Aaron Skonnard, Domo’s Josh James and Traeger Grill’s Jeremy Andrus.

And Divvy’s growth numbers so far also tell a story of success. The company has a 798 percent year-to-date growth rate, and, in the four months since the platform’s been available, more than 450 companies have signed onboard with $300 million in underwritten credit.

So what’s makes Divvy so popular both with investors and clients?

For starters, the platform essentially simplifies a process businesses often find necessary but inefficient. Divvy automates expense reports, allows companies to monitor their budget in real time, lets employees send and request funds in seconds, gives every employee a company card and provides virtual cards for business subscriptions and expenses.

If an employee is taking a business trip, Divvy will track everything that employee is spending using the Divvy credit card and show it in real time on the platform. The card will have as much money on it as the company deems is necessary for the trip and will keep track to ensure the trip stays on budget.

If the employee needs more money, they can send a request to the company which can be approved in seconds. Those with access can also track the budget for the month, all the way down to individuals.

The real reason Divvy may be so popular, however, is its price: a whopping $0. According to Snow, Divvy partners with banks who underwrite the credit for the businesses that use the platform, then when the expenses come across the Divvy platform, Divvy and the banks share the interchange.

And as Divvy continues to grow, that interchange will most likely grow.

“As a founder and CEO, I know all too well the hassles associated with business expensing, so I can relate to the problem Divvy is solving,” Skonnard told VentureBeat in an email. “Alex and Blake have created a simple solution to fix a problem facing all companies, with a huge upside for growth.”


Liesl Nielsen

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