The Top 8 Ramp Competitors & Alternatives Ranked

Ramp is a FinTech company that provides a corporate charge card alongside spend management solutions to business customers.  

The company, which is headquartered in New York City, was founded in 2019 by Eric Glyman, Gene Lee, and Karim Atiyeh.

Unlike credit cards, charge cards require customers to pay their balance in full by the end of each month. Ramp’s card is powered by Visa.

Managers can issue as many physical and virtual cards to their employees as they want to. Furthermore, they can set budgets, and monitor spending – all while benefiting from no fees and unlimited 1.5 percent cashback.

All of those expenses can consequently be tracked in Ramp’s software platform. It allows administrators to pre-approve expenses, issue benefits, and even require employees to settle their outstanding bills.

Ramp is, furthermore, integrated with dozens of services, such as Amazon Business or Lyft, to offer instant receipt collections. Alternatively, its AI-powered image recognition technology allows users to automatically scan and categorize receipts.

Lastly, Ramp offers integrations with some of the most popular accounting software providers including QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, and NetSuite. This enables accountants to close their books substantially faster.

Being primarily aimed at venture-funded startups (but also targeting SMEs and enterprises), Ramp also provides users with various educational tools, for example offering a mission statement generator or burn rate calculator.

Ramp is one of the fastest-growing FinTech companies we have ever seen. It reached $100 million in annual revenue, primarily on the backbone of the interchange fees it cards generate, just two years after launching. Meanwhile, the core product is free to use.

That growth has been supported by the $1.4 billion in venture funding its founders have raised to date. Ramp itself is currently valued at $8.1 billion. The firm claims that its various products have saved customers time worth over $200 million thus far.

The methodology with which competitors of Ramp are ranked is based on publicly available data. Information such as the funding raised or valuation, the number of customers, and everything else in between will be considered.

Ramp is only available to business customers in the United States. As such, competitors from the U.S. will solely be considered.

Additionally, we won’t take a look at traditional banks, such as Chase, which are known to serve consumers. Instead, this analysis only dissects competitors serving tech startups and other types of enterprises.

It has to be noted that this analysis should not be seen as an endorsement of either service. It is merely a summary of the competition that Ramp currently faces.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 8 competitors of Ramp.

1. Brex

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Founder(s): Henrique Dubugras, Pedro Franceschi

Year Founded: 2017

Brex wants to create the financial operating system on which tech companies can scale their operations from the founders only to thousands of employees. Its offering is centered around its Empower platform, which combines all of Brex’s products.

The business bank account stands at the core of that offering. Brex, unlike Ramp, provides FDIC-insured accounts for up to $250,000 per account (and $1.75 million in total). And not only are deposits secured but Brex also offers the ability to earn a yield on that idle cash.

Those accounts are consequently linked to the firm’s credit card, which automatically tracks and categorizes an employee’s spending patterns, allows managers to set budgets, match physical and virtual receipts, and so forth.

Brex even allows customers to earn all kinds of cashback rewards. For instance, users earn 7x on rideshare transactions or 3x on restaurant purchases. They can even use their earned points on billboards, coaching, or company-wide offsite events.

Additionally, Brex customers can pay their outstanding invoices via the service, automatically sync their expenses with QuickBooks and other types of accounting software providers, conduct financial and scenario planning (via its Pry acquisition), and even apply for founder-friendly financing (via Brex Venture Debt).

Its strategy to build the modern financial stack has allowed Brex’s founders, who started the business at the tender age of 21, to raise $1.5 billion in funding while amassing a valuation of $12.3 billion.

Unfortunately, the young founders haven’t always made the best decisions. In June 2022, Brex suddenly announced that it would stop working together with SME customers by mid-August (however still serve venture-backed startups).

The suddenness as well as a poor explanation of who was affected resulted in a widespread public backlash for which the founders had to do a lot of apologizing.

Source: Brex, Crunchbase, TechCrunch

2. Stripe

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Founder(s): John Collison, Patrick Collison

Year Founded: 2010

Stripe is one of the world’s biggest payment processors. In 2021, the firm processed $640 billion in online payments for customers such as Amazon, Apple, Target, and Walmart. Over three million websites are currently using Stripe.

And since September 2019, Stripe competes with Ramp via the corporate card it launched. The card provides businesses with all of the common features including spend controls, real-time expense reporting, accounting software integrations, and the ability to earn rewards.

It has to be noted that Ramp is actually a customer of Stripe as well. The cards Ramp issues are actually originated via Stripe’s card issuing product, which enables any service to issue cards themselves. Other customers entail Klarna, TripActions, Emburse, Zip, and more.

Furthermore, since Stripe has access to a company’s expense and payment data, it can also issue loans to its customers via Stripe Capital.

Stripe also enables customers to bill their clients via subscriptions, customize their checkout pages, embed financial services into your marketplace (via Stripe Treasury), verify their user’s identity, incorporate their business, and so much more.

The Collison brothers have raised $2.3 billion in funding for Stripe thus far. And although Stripe had to recently write down its valuation from $95 billion to $74 billion, it is still widely believed to be one of the world’s most valuable private companies.

Source: Crunchbase, Stripe

3. Divvy

Headquarters: Draper, Utah

Founder(s): Alex Bean, Blake Murray, Justin Thompson

Year Founded: 2016

Divvy provides a physical and virtual charge card that allows managers to receive spend insights, set budgets, and offers almost similar features to Ramp’s card.

However, where Divvy differentiates itself from Ramp and many other competitors on this list is its focus on travel rewards. Customers can earn up to 7x on restaurants and 5x on hotels if payments are made on a weekly basis (vs. 2x on hotels or restaurants for monthly payments). Ramp, on the other hand, offers a flat 1.5 percent cashback rate.

Divvy’s product suite is largely focused on small as well as medium-sized businesses in the construction, healthcare, e-commerce, and technology space. As a result, it also offers a native app that enables founders to access all the above information on the go.

Customers are certainly not the only ones liking what Divvy has done thus far. In May 2021, Divvy was acquired by software giant Bill.com for $2.5 billion. The founders previously managed to raise $417.5 million in funding.

Divvy has used its extensive capitalization to offer loans of up to $15 million to the businesses it works together with. And since Divvy has access to a firm’s expense and income data (through accounting integrations), it can reliably assess how likely someone is to repay their loan.

The service itself does not charge any subscription fees. Instead, Divvy derives most of its revenue from the interchange fees its cards generate (just like Ramp).

Divvy, apart from spend management solutions and loans, also offers vendor payment services. With its Payment Services, customers can have their large payables handled by Divvy – all while being able to earn rewards.

Source: Crunchbase, Divvy

4. Airbase

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Founder(s): Thejo Kote

Year Founded: 2017

The Airbase platform combines three distinct products, namely bill payments, corporate cards, and expense reimbursements, into a solution that can be scaled based on the firm’s size and growth. As a result, it serves firms of all sizes, ranging from small startups to established enterprises.

Each of the Airbase’s modules can be implemented separately. Thousands of companies, including Gusto or Doximity, currently trust Airbase with their finances. G2 recently named Airbase as the best spend management solution in 2022.

Its card allegedly offers the best cashback rewards in the industry (up to 2 percent) while granting employees 10 – 20x higher limits on spend. One of its special features is the ability to set up card types. Whether you want to limit spending to travel or set up a virtual card for costs related to a project, Airbase does it all.

Airbase, due to existing integrations with American Express and Silicon Valley Bank, also allows customers to keep using their existing corporate reward programs.

Additionally, employees can submit receipts and have them automatically reimbursed, either via Airbase’s desktop software or mobile app. Users can, furthermore, pay (international) vendors and other service providers or even create invoices themselves.

Airbase, furthermore, hosts regular webinars that help its customers, namely finance professionals, advance their careers and improve performance. Its Path to Becoming a CFO series details exactly how to do that.

Investors have also taken a liking to Airbase’s scalable approach. The firm has raised a little over $250 million in funding while being valued at $600 million. 

But unlike Ramp, Airbase actually charges a monthly or yearly subscription fee for its various features. Customers can either subscribe to one module (e.g., reimbursements) or take advantage of the whole suite.

Source: Airbase, Crunchbase, G2

5. TripActions

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Founder(s): Ariel Cohen, Ilan Twig

Year Founded: 2015

Another travel-focused expense management platform, as the name would suggest, is TripActions. Its 8,000+ customers include world-renowned firms such as Heineken, Pinterest, Lyft, Zoom, Shopify, Primark, or Snowflake.

The associated card allows users to earn 2 percent in cashback rewards, take advantage of the built-in policy and spend controls, book trips directly within the platform while getting access to exclusive travel deals, and more.

Offering travel bookings directly within the platform is the result of various acquisitions TripActions has made. In February 2022, it acquired Comtravo and Resia, two travel solutions covering options across the European continent.

TripActions provides a variety of different plans that are either focused on expense and/or travel management. It serves customers of all sizes, ranging from small startups to large enterprises.

Consequently, TripActions’ spend management product includes accounting software integrations, automated approvals and categorizations, one-click reimbursements for employees, and reporting that covers any expense.

TripActions has raised $1.5 billion in venture funding thus far. The company, which is currently valued at $5 billion, invested around $400 million into its European business in 2021. More than half of TripActions’ revenue (mainly subscriptions and interchange fees) is now being generated from customers in Europe.

Source: Crunchbase, PhocusWire, TripActions

6. Mercury

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Founder(s): Immad Akhund, Jason Zhang, Max Tagher

Year Founded: 2017

Mercury offers FDIC-insured accounts, virtual and physical debit cards, treasury services, and even access to loans. The accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.

However, Mercury itself is not a bank. Instead, it derives its banking license and the associated FDIC insurance from a partnership with Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust. And those partnerships form the basis for Mercury’s accounts as well.

Mercury derives most of its income from interchange fees and thus does not charge subscriptions to use its product. Additionally, Mercury’s treasury product has an annual interest rate of 1.5 percent while the card enforces a 1 percent currency exchange rate.

The firm’s 40,000+ customers currently hold $4 billion worth of deposits in their accounts. Mercury works together with companies such as Trust & Will, Maven, and Barkmute. It serves customers of all sizes, yet its primary customer base remains venture-backed tech startups.

Startup customers can, furthermore, earn yield (up to 1.5 percent as per the time of writing) on the idle cash stored in accounts. Additionally, founders can apply for a Mercury-issued loan while leaving their cap table unaffected.

In fact, Mercury goes beyond that and even manages its own investor database that curates potential partners for any given startup. And since late 2020, Mercury has also been connecting over 270 startup founders with investors, such as Andreessen Horowitz, via its Raise program.

Mercury has raised $152.2 million in venture funding thus far while being valued at $1.6 billion. The firm unfortunately does not disclose revenue figures.

Source: Crunchbase, Mercury

7. Emburse

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Founder(s): Peter Lai, Roger Gu

Year Founded: 2014

Emburse is the result of a merger between Certify and Chrome River. All three firms were acquired by private equity firm K1 back in 2019 and consequently merged into one single solution.

As a result, Emburse serves mid-market and enterprise customers by allowing them to track expenses, pay bills, connect with various software providers, conduct financial audits, and much more.

And since April 2022, Emburse has also become even more of a competitor to Ramp. That same month, it launched Emburse Spend, which enables companies to issue cards, gain insights into expenses, or set budgets. The product, as previously stated, is powered by Stripe.

One of the biggest draws is that companies can grow alongside the Emburse stack. For example, small businesses can subscribe to Emburse Tallie to manage the reimbursement and reconciliation process.

Larger enterprises may benefit from using Emburse Nexonia, which offers streamlined expense reporting across departments, timesheets, a fully-integrated travel booking platform, the option to plan and request vacations, and so much more.  

Emburse currently boasts 12 million users across 120+ countries. A total of 18,000 businesses are subscribed to either one of the firm’s products. Customers of Emburse include Microsoft, Bosch, and many other world-leading organizations.

In 2021, the firm processed $65 billion worth of payments while generating $200 million in annual revenue.

Source: BusinessWire, Emburse, TechCrunch

8. Spendesk

Headquarters: Paris, France

Founder(s): Jordane Giuly, Rodolphe Ardant, Thibaud Elziere

Year Founded: 2016

Spendesk is primarily used in the European Union but has since launched in the United States and Canada. It provides what it calls a 7-in-1 spend management solution, which entails all the tooling a finance department may need.

Unlike Ramp, Spendesk issues actual credit and credit cards and doesn’t just charge your existing bank account. Managers can, furthermore, set and approve budgets, pay bills, reimburse expenses, and have receipts automatically categorized by the platform’s software.

Spendesk also offers tax law compliance by integrating with all popular accounting software providers. For example, it provides automatic expense account allocation, which allows accountants to save time on tracking and categorizing spending.

However, Spendesk actually charges business customers a monthly fee to be able to use its product – on top of the interchange revenue it earns from card usage.

Its software is highly customizable and thus can serve anyone from SMEs to large enterprises. Spendesk’s 4,000+ customers include companies such as Curve, Decathlon, Moneybox, and more.

Spendesk primarily sells into finance departments, which is the reason why it hosts its own podcast (dubbed CFO Yeah!) and operates a community of over 8,000 finance leaders called CFO.Connect. Those communities and marketing efforts act as customer acquisition channels while spreading the word and increasing Spendesk’s popularity among its key customers.

All of those features and initiatives have allowed Spendesk to amass a valuation of $1.14 billion. In total, Spendesk’s team has raised $311.8 million in venture funding from investors such as Tiger Global Management or General Atlantic.

Source: Crunchbase, Silicon Canals, Spendesk

Hi folks, Viktor checking in! Years of experience in various tech-related roles have led me to start this blog, which I hope provides you with as much enjoyment to read as I have writing the content.