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By partnering with Bond, Cledara grew MRR by 35% MoM in less than 6 months

Roy Ng
Contributor
Date Published
(
March 7, 2022
)
Read Time
(
min
)

We knew when we launched our embedded credit platform that it was going to be a game-changer. The demand for this platform has been very strong. I am excited to share that Cledara, the first Software Intelligence Platform designed for growing businesses, is live with their SMB customers on Bond’s credit platform. With momentum building off their success in Europe and the UK, Cledara already has dozens of US customers transacting on our platform.

“Cledara is solving an important problem that has not been addressed until now,” said Cristina Vila Vives, CEO and Co-founder of Cledara. “We help companies become successful users of the software they depend on each day and we are thrilled to now offer our solution to growing companies in the US.”

Cristina and her co-founder, Brad van Leeuwen, former Head of Partnerships and Marketing at Railsbank, share a vision of bringing transparency and empowerment to their business customers. Cledara is the system of record for company software and centralizes the payment and management of SaaS applications in one place, which they leverage to help their customers discover, buy, and cancel software.

Waterfront dinner in San Francisco: December 2021, from left to right: Marcus Lobendahn, Eran Karoly, Yan Wu, Brian Chevalier-Jordan, Brad Van Leeuwen, Cristina Vila Vives, and Roy Ng

Bond’s virtual credit cards provide granular spend controls

Built on Bond, Cledara enables their SMB customers to purchase and manage all their SaaS subscriptions through single-purpose virtual cards. Virtual credit cards are key to overseeing spending because they enable controls at a very granular level. For example, a card can have a limit set exactly to the monthly cost of the particular subscription (e.g., Salesforce.com or Twilio) so overages or any other fees associated will not be paid.

To create flexible and transparent spend controls, Cledara leverages Bond’s universal ledger to create one “parent” card with an overarching credit limit for the entire business and then multiple “child” cards with unique limits for each individual SaaS subscription. For instance, the company’s parent credit card limit might be set to $50,000 per month with different monthly limits for child cards set to $10,000 for AWS, $12.99 for Canva, and $0.99 for an Apple iCloud storage plan. Cledara creates and manages those card settings using Bond’s cards API.

Going beyond table stakes capabilities 

Deposit accounts and debit cards for businesses and consumers have been the core banking products for many companies starting to offer financial services to their users, but they are quickly becoming table stakes. We believe a key growth area for embedded finance is credit.

Shortly after we launched our core banking and debit card platforms, customers started inquiring about our credit roadmap. The demand and the breadth of use cases have been eye-opening as they considered expanding their financial relationships with their users. Not only does credit augment the value our customers can bring to their users, but also creates new revenue streams.

Cledara is the first of many companies that have partnered with Bond to build their own embedded credit solutions. Strong demand for credit is coming from companies addressing every segment imaginable, from a fintech company providing ultra-high-end experiences for high net-worth individuals, to an instant cash advance company with over 600,000 users looking to provide them with “Credit Builder” cards. The demand for credit capabilities is not diminishing anytime soon.  

Credit changing lives

Credit generates new opportunities and provides access to new capital so a business can expand or a consumer can achieve their financial goals. It introduces net-new dollars to credit-worthy people and companies. There are multiple opportunities for credit to provide a chance to break away from the status quo and grow into the future.

As a first-generation Chinese American, I know firsthand how credit can improve the lives and futures of those communities. Consumers like my mom can start building a credit profile that will benefit them and their families immediately and for decades to come. A simple charge card can pave the way to homeownership, educational loans, and a step-change in income and wealth formation.

Net-net, credit also allows our customers to better serve the needs of their users. Aside from building stronger credit profiles, many companies are telling us they plan to offer customized rewards, such as superior cashback, discounts on products, and unique perks and gifts. Credit allows Bond’s customers to further differentiate themselves in their markets by offering the most relevant services. 

Data and credit

There’s an old saying in lending: “It’s easy to lend someone money but it’s harder to get it back.” Decades ago, lending was done face-to-face at an actual bank branch; a banker extended credit based on the borrower’s community status and family history. Today, underwriting has taken the place of human judgment, removing much of the bias and allowing for broader and more equitable access to credit.

Critical to underwriting is data. Without robust data, underwriting is just a guess. With our unified data platform, our customers have access to rich sources of information that can easily be merged with their own first-party data. Spending and income histories reveal far more to a lender than a simple credit score, allowing for better and more accurate underwriting.

With better underwriting, companies can then extend credit to their customers who might otherwise not have access to it. This is incredibly important to our mission — driving financial inclusion through financial innovation.

I’d love to learn what you’d want to build with Bond!

Reach out and let’s chat about launching your own embedded finance solution.