All The Fintech - 2.12.20 - Or rather just about one this time, Ramp!
Hi everyone -
I’m a bit selfishly taking over my own newsletter to share a bit more about where I landed post Plaid :). About a month ago, I joined a company called Ramp as Head of Growth and I’m super excited to be able to finally publicly share what we’ve been up to! TLDR - Ramp is the first corporate card that helps companies reduce their burn. Our algorithms analyze card usage to identify overspending, better understand what things should cost (and when companies are overpaying), and simplify acting on opportunities to reallocate funds to better use. We combine this with a no-gimmicks 1.5% cashback program on all spend, robust accounting integrations, and expense features that actually work.
As to how I landed at Ramp, it was honestly thanks to a bit serendipity! Around October 2019, I started to think about what would life post Plaid would potentially look like. Around the same time, Olivia over at Bain Capital Ventures cold reached out via LinkedIn to grab coffee and learn more about what I’ve been up to at Plaid. She’s built out an amazing network of potential founders here in NYC and I ended up meeting another investor through Olivia that intro’ed me to Eric, the CEO and co-founder at Ramp. (Honestly, everyone at Bain Capital Ventures was super helpful in my journey including Matt, Merritt, Ashley, and everyone else!) Four days after meeting Eric, I had met his co-founders Karim + Zach as well as the rest of the team and decided to accept an offer.
But why now? Isn’t the space crowded? etc etc
The card industry has historically put up many barriers to innovation including:
Misaligned incentives: The brightest minds at card companies both new and old are optimizing “points programs” — with the fundamental aim to increase perceived value to customers while decreasing cost and redemption.
Antiquated infrastructure: Underlying payment processing infrastructure makes it nearly impossible to build intelligence on top of the card-authorization layer. This means that it takes years to build features which act on top of transaction data in real time, leading to a focus on personalized marketing not actually smart cards.
Immense barriers to entry: Historically, building a corporate card business took immense capital and existing distribution, as well as specialized knowledge and connections.
That being said, in just the past decade we’ve been able to witness the power of platforms and their ability to catalyze new market entrants (shoutout to my fav Plaid obviously). There’s also been a new wave of fintech talent that have successfully built and scaled products at both old and new companies. When I met the Ramp team and learned more about the product vision, I realized that I was witnessing something super interesting in fintech and I quickly wanted to be a part of it.
Ramp is in the business of helping other businesses be more efficient, and we’re not just about re-inventing banking products. I saw this firsthand at Plaid where as we started to grow and scale, our finance teams were also trying to regain control of our spend - the team here is equipping companies with a second CFO completely focused on reducing burn.
There’s some more news y’all can read about in the press (fortune, techcrunch, BI, etc), but thanks again for reading this far and feel free to share, sign-up, or apply for a job 🙃. I promise for some hopefully more interesting analysis in the future too now that I’m on the other side building on top of fintech infrastructure!