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Pleo: “Madrid is the ideal place to generate, attract, and retain talent”

Meet Pleo's case, a Danish Fintech company with a strong presence in Europe that recently opened its hub for Southern Europe in Madrid.

Since May 18th, the Gran Vía in Madrid has been home to Pleo’s headquarters, a Fintech company specializing in expense solution and simplification for businesses. Pleo is a Danish company deeply rooted in the continent, boasting heavyweight clients such as Acciona, Galp, or Mad Cool. With the opening of its hub in Madrid, it aims to coordinate business operations in Southern Europe.


We interviewed Álvaro Dexeus, director for Southern Europe at Pleo.


How would you define your company’s activity?


Pleo is Europe’s leading expense management solution for forward-thinking teams worldwide. With smart cards and automated expense reports, Pleo is helping small and medium-sized businesses across Europe move away from the challenges of outdated financial processes. With features including subscription management, expense categorization, invoice payment, email synchronization, and direct reimbursement, Pleo is used by over 25,000 companies, transforming the way they manage their expenses, offering real-time visibility to financial teams, and making everyone feel valued at work.


What are your prospects with your landing in Madrid?


We firmly believe in Madrid’s potential as a fintech capital and are excited to continue contributing to its growth with the opening of our new hub. From here, we will coordinate business operations in Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal, with the aim of addressing the rapid and robust growth the company is experiencing.


In this way, the company strengthens its commitment to the Spanish market, whose client portfolio has increased by 105% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period the previous year, and takes the leap to the next phase of its development, responding to the new needs of the southern region.


With what type of companies already established in our community can you seek commercial synergies? In other words, to what sectors can you provide added value?


Pleo offers a modern and automated business expense management model, tailored to the needs of current companies, regardless of their size or sector, providing financial teams with total control and visibility over everything happening in the company, from expenses to invoices. Currently, we are transforming the way companies work in diverse sectors such as Acciona, Galp, Scalpers, Mad Cool, Cafés Templo, or Avante Asesores.


What has been your initial investment in Madrid? Do you plan to increase it in the future?


As for that, I cannot share exact figures, but I can confirm that we are increasing our investment here. We have just opened a new office in Madrid that offers us more space to expand the team, and we are focused on continuing to develop our products. Last year, we were immersed in expanding into new markets: we reached 10 in 2022, with Portugal and Italy as key markets in this expansion strategy. This year, we are working on horizontal growth to ensure that we have the right products to provide the best service to each market, taking into account local nuances and changes in regulations. For example, we have just launched our Pleo invoices tool to help companies adapt to future electronic billing regulations, following the approval of the Crea and Crece law.


We are very aligned with Invest in Madrid’s determination to make the region a center of excellence in financial technology.


How many jobs do you expect to generate in the short and medium term?


We currently have over 800 employees worldwide, 50 of whom are in Spain. A number that is constantly growing based on business needs.


What kind of professional profiles do you need in your workforce?


When we hire, we don’t look for “culture-fit,” but rather “culture-add.” These are very different things. We don’t want to create a company of like-minded people who think and approach challenges in the same way. We want employees who continue to add value to make it sustainable, who challenge the status quo and bring their own vision to the company, while upholding our business values ​​of trust, transparency, entrepreneurial spirit, and humanity.


Do you believe that Madrid has talent that meets your needs?


Absolutely. Madrid is one of the main centers of talent in our country. Its numerous universities, business schools, and research centers, its open and plural lifestyle, and its dynamic business activity make Madrid the ideal place to generate, attract, and retain talent, both nationally and internationally.


What advantages has the Community of Madrid offered you when establishing yourself?


The launch of our hub in Madrid has had enormous support from Invest in Madrid and its team. They are fully aware of the opportunities Madrid offers to companies, and we are very aligned with their determination to make Madrid a center of excellence in financial technology.


What would you recommend to other foreign investors thinking of opening their business in Madrid?


The warm reception of the Spanish market, as well as the dynamic business activity in Madrid, its good financial services, its excellent geostrategic position, its talent, and its state-of-the-art infrastructure make Madrid the perfect place from which to coordinate work throughout Southern Europe.


Finally, how has the relationship been with Invest In Madrid?


We have always maintained an open and close relationship, which has allowed us to find synergies. From here, I want to thank you for the support received and highlight the work they are doing to make Madrid a prosperous and vibrant business center.

Estamos muy alineados con la determinación de Invest in Madrid para convertir la región en un centro de excelencia en tecnología financiera.

¿Cuántos puestos de trabajo esperáis generar en el corto y el medio plazo?

Actualmente contamos con más de 800 empleados en todo el mundo, 50 de ellos en España. Un número que crece constantemente en función de las necesidades del negocio.

¿Qué tipo de perfiles profesional necesitáis en vuestra plantilla?

Cuando contratamos, no buscamos el “culture-fit”, sino el “culture-add”. Son cosas muy distintas. No queremos crear una empresa de personas con ideas afines, que piensen y afronten los retos de la misma manera. Queremos empleados que sigan sumando para que sea sostenible, que desafíen el statu quo y aporten su propia visión a la empresa, al tiempo que defienden nuestros valores empresariales de confianza, transparencia, espíritu emprendedor y humanidad.

 ¿Creéis que Madrid dispone de talento acorde a vuestras necesidades?

Absolutamente. Madrid es uno de los principales epicentros del talento en nuestro país. Sus numerosas universidades, escuelas de negocios y centros de investigación, su estilo de vida abierto y plural, y su dinámica actividad empresarial, hacen de Madrid el lugar idóneo para generar, atraer y retener talento, tanto nacional como internacional.

¿Qué ventajas os ha ofrecido la Comunidad de Madrid a la hora de estableceros?

La puesta en marcha de nuestro hub en Madrid ha contado con el enorme apoyo de Invest in Madrid y de su equipo. Son plenamente conscientes de las oportunidades que ofrece Madrid a las empresas y nosotros estamos muy alineados con su determinación de que Madrid se convierta en un centro de excelencia en tecnología financiera.

¿Qué recomendarías a otros inversores extranjeros que estén pensando en abrir su negocio en Madrid?

La buena acogida del mercado español, así como la dinámica actividad empresarial de Madrid, sus buenos servicios financieros, su excelente posición geoestratégica, su talento y sus infraestructuras de última generación, hacen de Madrid el lugar perfecto desde el que coordinar el trabajo en todo el sur de Europa.

Por último, ¿cómo ha sido la relación con Invest In Madrid?

Siempre hemos mantenido una relación abierta y cercana, lo que nos ha permitido encontrar sinergias. Desde aquí quiero agradecer el apoyo recibido y destacar el trabajo que están haciendo para convertir Madrid en un centro de negocios próspero y vibrante.

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