Bulgaria gets its first unicorn, fintech start-up Payhawk

Less than four years after being founded a payment solution platform made in Bulgaria has become emerging Europe’s latest unicorn.

Payhawk, a payment and expense solution with offices in London, Sofia, Berlin, and Barcelona, has raised an additional 100 million US dollars to extend its Series B round to 215 million US dollars.

The new funding was raised at a valuation of one billion US dollars, making Payhawk the first ever Bulgarian company to achieve unicorn status.

“Becoming the first unicorn in Bulgaria is a huge testament to the hard work and resilience of our team over the last three and a half years. We are just at the beginning of our journey, and we cannot wait to continue reinventing how businesses manage their payments,” said founder and CEO Hristo Borisov.

Lightspeed Venture Partners — a global venture capital firm with over 10.5 billion US dollars under management and prior investments in companies like Affirm, Grafana, Faire, FTX, Personio, Snap, and others — led the funding extension, with Sprints Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, HubSpot Ventures and Jigsaw VC also joining the round.

The additional funding comes only three months after Payhawk announced the initial tranche of Series B funding in November 2021 of 115 million US dollars, and less than a year after its 20 million US dollars Series A round in April 2021.

With the extra funds, Payhawk says that it now has the financial clout required to aggressively expand its presence in the mid-size enterprise market and continue its ambitious global expansion plans.

Payhawk’s solution integrates cards, payments, expenses, cash management, and pre-accounting into one single platform, aiming to replace multiple services in the B2B payment stack with a single, unified interface.

Employees can get virtual and physical Payhawk cards to spend money more easily. The platform allows firms to set up rules, budgets and an approval workflow.

“We always knew that we could build a big company if we addressed a significant problem in a large market. The size of the opportunity still drives our growth and ambition today. Every employee that deals with company payments feels that there should be a better way to do it, but this huge problem was never tackled by a strong product team with a hardcore engineering background. This is what Payhawk brings to the market,” added Borisov.


Since being founded in 2018, Payhawk has become a leading platform for large SMEs and enterprise customers, especially those with a multinational footprint. The company serves businesses in 30 countries across a variety of industries, currencies and payment methods.

The fresh capital will be used to further grow Payhawk’s product team by adding 60 additional senior software engineers in Sofia. This is with the aim of meeting growing customer demand for new features like mileage tracking and per diem, in light of the incremental return of business travel.

Other existing features for enterprise customers will be extended too, including Oracle Netsuite integration, Subscription Management and Budgets.

Building on the momentum from the first influx of Series B capital, Payhawk is also set to open offices in Amsterdam and Paris in March, and in New York in September. The company’s headcount is also set to triple from 100 to more than 300 by the end of this year, with the extra funds set to fuel a renewed sales and marketing push for further market expansion.

Arsham Memarzadeh, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said, “Payhawk is more than just spend management software. It’s a one-stop-shop for finance teams to consolidate the previously disparate systems required to spend, track, process, and budget corporate funds. After getting to know the team for over a year, we’ve been blown away with their pace of product development, building the most comprehensive solution in the market in less than four years.”

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