AI comes to expense reports • TechCrunch


welcome to Exchange! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for your subscription and vote of confidence. If you are reading this as a post on our site, please register over here So you can receive it directly in the future. Every week, I look at the hottest fintech news from the previous week. This includes everything from funding rounds to trends to niche analysis to hot takes on a specific company or event. There’s a lot of fintech news out there and it’s my job to stay on top of it – and understand it – so you can stay informed. – Mary Ann

Hello and welcome. We finally got our power back after the snow storm and I’m feeling better after coming down with the cold – but since I’m still not working at full capacity, this newsletter will be a little more detailed.

Rebrands are not uncommon in the startup world, and the fintech space is no exception. Companies are more prevalent when they think about adapting to external factors. Last week, TripActions announced that it is rebranding and is now called Navan.

For my part, I was not surprised by the news after the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 after TripActions changed from being a travel expense management company to a corporate card and expense management company in general. In 2021, CEO and co-founder Ariel Cohen told me that revenue didn’t just go down — it went down. . . to zero. That’s when the execs decided to focus their efforts on the new liquid supply at the time, which seems to have worked well for the company. In the year In October, continuing its growth, the company raised $154 million in equity of $9.2 billion after funding, up from $7.5 billion previously assessed, as well as a $150 million structured financing deal from Coatue. Then in December, it secured $400 million in credit facilities from Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

The rebrand is more than just a name change, it seems. The company says it has now integrated its travel, corporate and expense offerings into “one super app.” Navan on it – combination Browse And avant (or future) – Claims to be the first travel company to integrate open AI and ChatGPT APIs across its infrastructure and product suite.

The company said it is currently using generative AI technology to write, test and debug code to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. So now, with Ava — Navan’s virtual assistant — travel managers are able to personalize recommendations and increase traveler engagement, according to execs. Managers also say they can use the device as a personal assistant to perform tasks such as performing personal data analysis, providing granular carbon emissions details, or ordering corporate cards for their company. Meanwhile, travelers can do things like search for travel, resolve customer support issues and, for example, recommend an Indian restaurant near their hotel in London.

A company spokesperson told me in an e-mail: “Ask program managers to report on the go and produce programs and present them in text, graphs, PDFs, etc. We use AI to do everything from cost reduction. Detailed information into automatic reporting – and as for the hotel folio, immediately after the stay we bring it from the hotel, assign the line items, compare that with company policy and enter it for the user, so they don’t need anything. [to] Flip the coins to balance the folio – this process is very painful in my experience.

Personally, we at TC have been admiring the impact of generative AI on the fintech space, so I’m excited to say this on TripAction’s – Navan’s – division.

But let me point out that Navan is not the only company in the financial services space to announce the incorporation of AI into its products.

Last week, TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez reported that Microsoft and American Express are teaming up to develop AI to “help with the tedious and tedious work of filing and auditing corporate expense reports.” She wrote: “The companies have agreed to expand their decades-long partnership to build solutions that leverage Microsoft’s cloud and AI technologies, from expense reporting management. According to Amex, the first solution uses machine learning and AI to automate expense reporting and approvals. Notably, however, Amex claims to have built the AI ​​in-house — not using Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI, but Microsoft Cloud. You can read more about this deal here.

Attractive! I expect we will only hear more about the incorporation of AI into financial services.

More layoffs

last week, prove it It announced that it was cutting its staff by 19 percent and closing its crypto division. It also missed analysts’ estimates on revenue and earnings. All this news led to a sharp decline in the share price. It’s further proof that buy now, pay later space is struggling. I plan to get into that next week, so stay tuned.

Gusto It also cut jobs – laying off 126 people last week. Last May, TechCrunch reported that the then-$10 billion HR technology unicorn had raised 2021-era Series E funding. That financing arrangement included $175 million in principal, secondary equity and a tender offer.

Interestingly, as TC’s Natasha Mascarinhas explains, late last month, Gusto’s editor-in-chief wrote about the topic of layoffs — and the silver lining that awaits small businesses looking to hire talent.

“Call me ridiculous, but at the end of the day, a big business will always choose itself over its many employees. It’s just the nature of the beast. Small businesses should use this fact to their advantage.”

TechCrunch has reached out to Guston for comment and was told the offer represents about 5% of its workforce. A spokesperson also told me: “All staff have been notified by email. Affected employees also received an email alert. One employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the move came as a surprise as the company was “in a stable financial position”. The same employee cited a toxic work culture, a sentiment echoed by some blind users.

Weekly news

According to Axios: “Robin Hood Announces plans to buy shares of Emergent Fidelity Technologies from Sam Bankman-Fried. That Robinhood stake is currently in legal hell after the FTX implosion. Robinhood’s board authorized the repurchase of “most or all” of the 55 million shares it acquired last year, it said in its earnings report Wednesday. Emergent Fidelity Technologies formed to buy 7.6% of Robinhood in early 2022. But right now the stake is being traded by a lot of players.” Oh, I’m sure Robinhood didn’t expect that when it gave up those shares.

Pie insuranceA provider of workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses, it has announced that it is transitioning to a “rated, fully-carrier” option. Soon after, National Licensed Insurance Company (formerly Insurance Company of America), now renamed PE Insurance Company, will begin issuing its own insurance policies later this year. We last covered the $315 million Series D in September through the launch of Ford Pro Insurance, which expanded into commercial auto insurance as an MGA for Ford Motor Credit Company.

From Manish Singh: “Fintech whose And PayU’s LazyPay is among the apps banned by India’s IT ministry as New Delhi moves to curb misuse of consumer data and protect the country’s integrity. More here.

PayPal Stocks are up again. The company announced during its fourth-quarter earnings announcement that longtime CEO Dan Shulman plans to retire at the end of the year. But the earnings topped analysts’ expectations. Last week we wrote about the company’s plans to lay off 2,000 workers.

In July 2022, Brazil’s fintech The novücard, a Brazilian credit card with a “flexible” credit limit that allows the limit to be adjusted up and down based on usage and payment timeliness, is launched. A company spokesperson told me that NovuCard has added 150,000 new customers since its launch, making it the “fastest growing credit card in Brazil.” She added: “Up to 3,000 new customers a day are getting new NovoCards. The company expects this figure to increase primarily through word of mouth and the number of customers to grow to 2 million by the end of 2023. Founded by American Brad Liebman, fintech has 130 employees, mainly in Sao Paulo and Sao Carlos. In May 2021, the company raised $5.5 million in seed funding.

Funding and M&A

The former Gemini CTO launched Fierce, a high-yield financial super app

New social investment platform Follow the influencers of the pipeline to reflect their investment strategies

SUMA Wealth Buys Rail to Close America’s Wealth Gap Christine covered last year:

Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia supports Tazapay for cross-border payments

Investment platform Moonfare has completed a Series C round of $15M

That’s it for this week. Thanks again for sticking with me, and I hope to get back to you as quickly as possible next week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xoxo, Mary Ann


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