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ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
A month after acquiring Spain-based T&E provider Captio, Certify is continuing its European expansion push with a new office in London. The office marks Certify's first physical location in the U.K., but the Portland, Maine-based company has been growing its client base in the country for the past several years, said Certify CEO Bob Neveu. A physical base in the U.K. will enable Certify to better serve clients that are based there and will serve as a springboard to further growth in the U.K. and Europe, he said.
"We've onboarded hundreds of customers in the U.K., so this is an acceleration play for us," Neveu said. "We're making an investment to put people on the ground because many companies do feel more comfortable working with a vendor with a local presence and the ability to work with them at their preferred hours," he added.
Neveu drew a parallel between the London office and Certify's decision to open a San Diego office in 2014 after signing on a number of clients based on the U.S. West Coast.
The London office also gives the company greater access to a regional market with high growth potential. The U.K. and Europe T&E management market is predicted to expand by an average of 9.7 percent annually between 2017 and 2023, according to KBV Research.
Certify views the U.K. as a separate market from the rest of Europe, due to factors like its own currency, unique reporting requirements and its impending departure from the European Union, all of which bolstered the case for establishing a presence there, Neveu noted.
"We see lots of opportunity in the U.K.," he said. "Our research indicates that more than 60 percent of U.K. companies with under 1,000 employees still use Excel or a similar method [to process expenses], so in our minds, there's plenty of greenfield there to displace those legacy systems."