Entrepreneur 5 things to know about Rodolphe Ardant, CEO of Spendesk

5 things to know about Rodolphe Ardant, CEO of Spendesk





The summer period has not stopped the fundraising announcements. Spendesk, a business spend management platform, has completed a funding round of 100 million euros led by the US investment fund General Atlantic.

At the head of this fintech created in 2016, Rodolphe Ardant, which is not his first attempt in tech.

He was immediately an entrepreneur

Rodolphe Ardant did not join a large company after graduating from Ecole Polytechnique in 2007, where he studied electrical and electronic engineering, computer science and applied mathematics. He directly created a company in the tech… And it wasn’t Spendesk.

He founded another company … and sold it

Before creating Spendesk within the start-up studio eFounders, Rodolphe Ardant co-founded in 2008 with Vincent Gire, one of his fellow students, a platform for requesting quotes. Baptized Wozaïk, she used algorithms based on keywords typed into search engines.

A few pivots later, Wozaïk became an advertising automation solution that was acquired by Solocal Group in April 2013. “We made all the mistakes engineers could make,” remembers Rodolphe Ardant. The group, formerly known as PagesJaunes Groupe, was a partner of the platform a few years before the takeover.

He went through Drivy

Rodolphe Ardant was not just an entrepreneur. After selling his company to Solocal Group, he joined the private car rental platform Drivy (now called Getaround following its takeover) as chief operating officer in 2014. “It was a very good adventure but I had want to build something. It is besides at Drivy that the idea of ​​Spendesk was born ”, tells the leader who only remained one year within the French platform.

He encourages his employees to get involved

With more than 300 employees, and double within 18 to 24 months, Spendesk is no longer a small start-up. But there is no question of becoming a big machine lacking humanity. Rodolphe Ardant encourages his employees to take initiatives, whether from a personal or professional point of view.

“Spendesk is there to support all its employees who want to have an impact,” said the CEO. For example, a small group participated in the collection of the Restos du Coeur in March 2021 in Paris. This approach is highly appreciated by employees, according to internal satisfaction surveys.

He recruited a former leader of Slack and Microsoft

The battle for talent is tough in tech. Even more with the proliferation of unicorns in Europe. Rodolphe Ardant has found one of the gems of the sector: James Colgan, who joined Spendesk as chief product officer last May.

This American spent more than four years at Microsoft, notably as director of product growth within Outlook Enterprise before joining the collaborative platform Slack where he was director of product management. “It was not easy because when you talk to Americans, you have to convince them to come to France with their whole family”, underlines Lucile Cornet, partner at Eight Roads Ventures, shareholder of Spendesk.

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