Brex and Ramp’s Unprecedented AI Aspirations

Welcome back to The Interchange, where we cover the latest news in the fintech world. If you want to receive The Interchange directly in your inbox every Sunday, head here to sign up! This week, we take a look at spend management companies’ AI ambitions, and a UK fintech’s growth. AI Ambitions Will every fintech become an AI company? This week, we reported on Ramp’s integration with Copilot, Microsoft’s generative AI technologies, allowing Microsoft Teams users to access Ramp’s AI assistant from their workspace. Brex has also launched Brex Assistant, leveraging AI to automate expense information collection and answer employee questions. Navan has integrated OpenAI and ChatGPT APIs to increase operational efficiency and traveler engagement. Leveraging AI is not just about improving customer experience, but also improving companies’ bottom lines. Brex saw slower growth in the third quarter, but revenue is still up compared to last year, and so are profits. Ramp raised $300 million in a funding round co-led by Thrive Capital and Sands Capital, while Navan reportedly generated $300 million in revenue in 2022. Wise’s Success Speaking with Wise CTO and interim CEO Harsh Sinha, he shared that Wise has grown by moving beyond facilitating cross-border transactions to giving users the ability to hold/spend/send funds across the world. With 16 million customers, Wise has been profitable since 2017. The company’s success lies in the fact that it’s “never given its product for free.” Sinha also touted the speed of Wise’s offering, with 57% of payments now on the network being instant, less than 20 seconds. Editorial Insights Manish Singh reports on the India central bank’s decision to slow down the growth in consumer spending. Tage Kene-Okafor writes about Paystack laying off 33 employees in Europe and Dubai amid the company’s focus on its home continent. Frederic Lardinois discusses the term “FinOps” and tech giants’ efforts to make cloud spend more transparent. Sarah Perez covers Venmo’s new feature allowing users to split expenses among groups, likely to “cannibalize the user base of single-purpose apps aimed at organizing group expenses, like Splitwise.” Tage Kene-Okafor reports on Chipper Cash’s enhanced strategic partnership with Visa to drive growth and financial inclusion across the African continent.

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