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Spend Management Firm Pleo Names New CFO in Push for Profitability

Spend Management Firm Pleo Names New CFO in Profitability Push

Danish FinTech Pleo is reportedly expanding its executive team with a new chief financial officer.

The naming of financial services veteran Soren Westh Lonning as CFO is a sign the spend management company is readying to go public, CNBC reported Wednesday (Dec. 13).

Among the companies on Lonning’s resume is food enzyme maker Chr Hansen, one of Denmark’s most valuable public companies, with a market cap of north of $10 billion, per the report.

Lonning told the financial news network that his top priorities as CFO will be driving Pleo to profitability, determining how to grow the company in a tough economic environment, and the use of data to make better decisions.

“There’s many companies similar to Pleo who are going through … balancing growth and efficiency or profitability in the environment that we [are] operating in right now,” Lonning said, per the report. “Obviously, we want to continue to grow and grow fast, but the environment also changed. That’s a dilemma for companies, but even more so for the lifestyle of Pleo and tech companies.”

While Pleo said it is in no hurry for an initial public offering (IPO), the hiring of a new CFO is a “symbolic” move that suggests a company is preparing for a public listing, the report said.

Pleo CEO Jeppe Rindom told CNBC the company is “continuously evaluating various options to fuel expansion that best serve our customers.” An IPO, he added, is an “important consideration,” but “no definitive plans have been set in motion.”

The company’s move comes as tech startups in Europe are projected to see a decline in funding for the year, according to the annual State of European Tech report by British venture capital firm Atomico.

“The decline is not surprising given the dual effect of many later-stage companies delaying fundraising, as well as materially slower deployment pacing by investors, which have both served to drive the large decline in the prevalence of outsized, late-stage investment rounds — the biggest factor in the lower amounts of capital invested,” the report said.

The report also noted that although the drop in overall investment is significant, 2023 is still on track to be the third-largest year for capital invested, with funding expected to be four times higher in volume than what was seen in 2014.

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