Expense management vendors unite to form Emburse

A group of six travel and expense management software vendors — Abacus, Captio, Certify, Chrome River, Nexonia and Tallie — have come together under a single company, Emburse, in an effort to challenge SAP Concur.

The company will employ 750 people around the world and its users will include more than 4.5 million business travelers at 14,000 customers in 120 countries.

Valuated at $1 billion, Emburse is majority owned by K1, an enterprise software investment firm. The new CEO, Eric Friedrichsen (pictured), has worked for 30 years at a number of software companies, including SAP Concur, along with Adobe’s Marketo division, Business Objects and Information Builders.

“We are so much stronger as one company,” Friedrichsen said in a statement Thursday. “With significant scale and disruptive technology, we’re redefining how organizations view travel and expense management and AP automation. We will continue to actively support and will increase our rate of innovation on each of our six core expense solutions which are uniquely tailored for specific industries, company sizes, and geographies. Coming together, we are now also able to share key technologies — such as real-time expenses, sophisticated data capture and extraction, and deep integrations with corporate cards — across the different solutions. No one else in the industry has the ability to innovate as fast with such a customer-centric approach.”

The various expense management software brands have been unifying for several years. Certify and Chrome River united last year. Before that, in 2017, Certify, Nexonia, ExpenseWatch and Tallie merged into one company under the Certify name with the goal of challenging SAP Concur after K1 Investment Management invested $125 million. Last July, the united Certify and Chrome River acquired Emburse, a startup provider of virtual and physical cards for business expenses and vendor payments. On the other side, the German business software giant SAP acquired Concur for $8.3 billion in 2015.

In his new role, Friedrichsen will be working with Chrome River president Nord Samuelson.

“I am extremely excited to work arm-in-arm with Nord Samuelson, who has been president of the organization since May 2019, and has a deep track record of operational excellence across multiple high-growth technology organizations,” he said. “Nord and the executive leadership team are some of the best in the industry and I am honored to work with them.”

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