Finding longevity in fIntech with Eric Glyman from Ramp

Finding longevity in fIntech with Eric Glyman from Ramp
  • Fintech has experienced rapid growth in the past 5 years and is expected to continue.
  • The podcast, Found, hosted by Dominic M Davis and Becca Scac, interviews Eric Glyman, CEO and co-founder of Ramp, a spend management platform.
  • Listeners are challenged to identify the lie among three statements:
    • This is the second company Eric started with his current co-founder.
    • They got the idea for Ramp while working at Capital One.
    • Eric grew up in Silicon Valley, which inspired him to become a founder.
  • Ramp is a spend management platform that provides corporate cards and software to help companies manage their finances.
  • It offers real-time expense tracking, budgeting, and approval workflows.
  • Ramp's mission is to make corporate finances easier and more efficient.

SImplifying financial processes (00:02:20)

  • Ramp provides a platform that simplifies financial operations for companies, including corporate cards, expense management, bill payment, and procurement.
  • Ramp's platform helps companies save money by reducing unnecessary spending and automating processes.
  • Ramp initially started as a savings app called ParaBus, which used AI to help customers get refunds for price drops.
  • After selling ParaBus to Capital One, the Ramp team saw an opportunity to disrupt the credit card and banking industry by creating a card and software that helps businesses spend less money and save time.
  • Ramp shifted its focus from consumer-oriented products to B2B solutions, maintaining its emphasis on good design and user-oriented features.
  • Decision-making in the B2B space is more complex due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders and shared missions.
  • Ramp identified inefficiencies in business spending and saw an opportunity to help businesses save money.

Automation expense management (00:08:41)

  • Ramp focuses on business fintech, targeting the lower barrier to entry and immediate impact opportunities in the industry.
  • The fintech industry has seen increased competition and innovation due to regulations and lower barriers to entry.
  • Ramp positions itself as a productivity company, aiming to automate financial tasks and provide insights for better decision-making.
  • Ramp utilizes AI for various tasks, including structuring data, generating text, and customer service interactions.
  • Ramp's initial use of automation and AI allowed for efficient processing of thousands of responses daily, detecting response nature, emotion, and refund amounts.
  • Ramp now employs machine learning to predict fields, detect receipts, and match them with transactions accurately.
  • Ramp's expense intelligence feature uses NLP to automatically flag alcohol-related expenses when relevant.

AI could take over tedious work tasks (00:13:46)

  • AI-powered automation is improving the accuracy and efficiency of accounting tasks, such as natural language translation into accounting categories.
  • AI is being used across all aspects of Ramp, including product development, marketing, and sales.
  • While AI can automate many tasks, human oversight is still necessary for custom-fit workflows.
  • AI can create value and increase access by considering more patterns than humans can.
  • Finance teams spend a significant amount of time on rote work, which prevents them from focusing on growth and strategic tasks.
  • AI agents can be deployed to automate simple, low-risk processes, freeing up finance teams to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • AI agents can assist finance teams by providing estimates, accuracy, and methodology, allowing for increased trust and delegation of tasks over time.
  • The use of AI agents in finance will allow teams to focus on more interesting and challenging work, leading to increased productivity and innovation.

Security and privacy with financial data and AI (00:19:10)

  • Ramp measures its success by the amount of money and time it saves its customers.
  • Ramp designs for modern cybersecurity by isolating risk, ensuring PCI compliance, and partitioning data to limit access.
  • The venture market has changed in the past five years, with more businesses achieving great outcomes and investors becoming more willing to invest heavily.
  • Platforms like Yator have made deep dives into building businesses more accessible, increasing entrepreneurs' knowledge and chances of success.

Taking a lower valuation (00:23:45)

  • The cost of capital has decreased, resulting in higher business valuations and increased success rates for entrepreneurs.
  • Ramp's rapid development and quick issuance of its first card exemplify the improved speed of software creation and investor support for startups.
  • Eric Glyman and his co-founders' diverse personalities complement each other, contributing to their successful partnership in building companies.
  • Ramp's hiring strategy focuses on individuals with great potential, curiosity, passion, and a high slope of growth, rather than solely relying on the founders' expertise.
  • Despite its rapid growth, Ramp still has a significant market share to capture in its largest market of cards and plans to expand globally.
  • Ramp aims to address pain points in money movement for companies, focusing on procurement, bill payments, and travel, to enhance financial efficiency and user-friendliness.
  • The company envisions becoming a company savings and finance agent, providing personalized assistance to businesses for optimized financial operations and decision-making.

What's next for Ramp and fintech (00:31:54)

  • Eric Glyman, a guest on the show from Las Vegas, founded two fintech companies, one consumer-focused and the other B2B-focused.
  • Despite the rapid growth of fintech, the financial services industry is slow to adopt fintech innovations.
  • Eric Glyman discussed the potential for fintech to improve corporate cards and simplify expense management.
  • The podcast hosts mentioned a previous episode featuring Brex and criticized Concur, a competing expense management tool.
  • The conversation highlighted the evolution of AI and its practical applications in fintech, such as automating financial tasks and simplifying expense management.

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