Medius, the Swedish business expense management company, plans to acquire Tunisian-born but Paris-headquartered Expensya for an undisclosed sum. A source with knowledge of the deal says Medius could pay several hundred million for Expensya. A press statement seen by TechCabal describes the acquisition as “ one of the largest in the MENA region.”
Expensya was founded in 2014 by Karim Jouini (CEO) and Jihed Othmani (CTO) to provide automated expense management tools for European businesses. Expensya’s software allows businesses to offer autonomous spending (within specified rules and limits) freeing up time and streamlining employee expensing. Integrations with popular ERP applications like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics allow financial comptrollers to maintain control and visibility across all business spending and simplify staff reimbursement.
Initially built in Tunis, Expensya is headquartered in Paris but still maintains the bulk of its back office operation in Africa. Per TechCabal reporting last year, only 50 of 160 employees were based outside Africa with the rest working out from an office in the Tunisian capital.
Before this acquisition, Expensya had raised a total of $25.6 million, with the latest being a $20 million Series B that was announced in April 2021. Press statements announcing the pending acquisition say Expensya more than doubled its recurring revenue in two years (from 2021) and grew its customer base to 6000 businesses (700,000 active individual users) spread across 100 countries. Expensya now employs more than 200 employees, mainly based in Tunisia, France, and Germany.
“Mid-size organizations and their CFOs are clearly looking for one common platform to efficiently manage all their spend,” said Karim Jouini, CEO of Expensya. “By combining our employee spend management solution and payment cards, with Medius’s AP automation platform, we now cover the whole indirect spend of companies.”
Founded in 2001, Medius is a cloud-based spend management technology provider based in Stockholm, the Swedish capital.
In 2017, California-based private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners acquired Medius for an undisclosed sum. In March, Marlin sold a minority stake in Medius to Advent International, another private equity firm, for an undisclosed sum. Industry watchers reported that the minority single-asset stake sale was close to $500 million after Marlin revalued Medius downwards, suggesting that Medius retained a value substantially above the billion-dollar mark.
“Expensya has developed a leading employee spend management solution in Europe,” Jim Lucier, Medius CEO said in a published press statement “Its founders, Karim and Jihed, and its leadership team share our ambition to transform the spend management category,” he added. Medius is especially keen to leverage Expensya’s technology to boost its spend management automation platform for travel businesses. According to Kevin Permenter, research director for Financial Applications at International Data Corporation, “Medius’s planned acquisition of Expensya will help financial leaders get a holistic view of their organization’s travel performance and financial position by enabling data from travel and expense activities to flow between the relevant finance functions.”
Medius has sought to grow its business suite by acquiring emerging firms operating in the same or, adjacent space. In 2019 it acquired Wax Digital, a UK Procurement payment provider. And in 2022, it bought OnPay Solutions, a US-based Accounts Payable and cloud-based invoice processing company.
The acquisition, when completed, will be the second 9-figure acquisition of a startup of Tunisian origin. In January this year, Oxford University spinoff, BioNTech, acquired InstaDeep, another Tunisian-born startup for $680 million. The deal represented the largest startup exit to date for an African-born startup.
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