Skift Take

Smaller players in the expense management marketplace are gearing up to take on Concur despite Concur's commanding lead in the sector.

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for travel managers and buyers, the innovations emerging from the sector, and the changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought, and sold.

Some big news in the expense management space this week, featuring a major rollup of smaller players aimed at taking down big dog Concur.

Certify, Nexonia, Tallie, and ExpenseWatch will merge after being acquired in a $125 million equity investment by K1 Investment Management, a private equity fund that targets software and technology companies.

“This deal is all about bringing the best expense management products to the most users everywhere in the world,” said Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify. “We’re now in a much stronger position to develop products and serve customers in the U.S., Canada, and internationally. I would expect us to continue growing organically and through acquisition as we move to overtake Concur as the world’s largest expense management software vendor.”

The combined organization will serve about 7,500 clients; Concur has more than 36,000 clients worldwide. Concur also offers travel booking and management services along with its expense product. So while the deal would make this new group the second largest expense services provider, it still has a lot of room to grow before it’s a concrete threat to Concur’s market share.

Concur, in a statement, said it is unfazed by the news.

“As a company with more than 36,000 customers in more than 150 countries, our clients are our north star and only Concur enables you to integrate your travel and expense ecosystem to manage today’s corporate travel challenges,” they wrote. “Travel and expense is the second largest controllable expense, behind payroll, and businesses are embracing solutions that help them achieve cost savings and improve budget forecasting.”

Concur also has the muscle of software-as-a-service giant SAP behind it as the parent company. But in a space where smaller companies can offer more targeted solutions to clients than Concur can, there is plenty of room for innovation and growth.

You come at the king, you’d best not miss.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Writer

Social Quote of the Day

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Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curate the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: corporate travel, ctir, expense management, mergers and acquisitions

Photo credit: Four expense management companies have teamed up to take on Concur. Pictured is a restaurant in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Bill Dickinson / Flickr

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