July 25, 2024


Travel Finishes First

How TravelPerk & Pleo help Luno bring employees together IRL

As the world of work grows more distributed every day, companies are looking for simple and seamless ways to bring their teams together in real life. With employees spread across several cities and multiple countries, getting the team together is more important now than ever before. But it also comes with a new set of challenges when it comes to organizing, managing, and expensing travel for these valuable in-person moments.

That’s where TravelPerk and Pleo come in. Together, we make it incredibly easy for our customers to book and manage real-life events. A quick booking on TravelPerk’s all-in-one platform combined with Pleo’s ability to match each receipt to a particular expense makes for a seamless planning experience. No headaches. No chaotic paperwork.

We caught up with Byron Cowie, Head of Reporting and Control at Luno, who explains how the magic combination of TravelPerk and Pleo makes bringing people together IRL stress-free.

A spotlight on Luno

Luno is a global cryptocurrency investment company that is making investing simple for 11 million customers in 43 countries.

To run their business globally, Luno relies on a distributed team spread across different continents. They run 9 offices in the UK, South Africa, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the USA. They call their teams “remote but reachable” — and they use TravelPerk to bring their employees together IRL.

They also manage their expenses with our strategic partner Pleo, who help Luno’s financial team forget what endless travel receipts and reimbursement claims look like.

A time before TravelPerk

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the team at Luno had one credit card to use for all travel expenses. The company was small at that time, with only 4 people working in the Finance team when Byron joined back in 2018.

Soon, the pandemic hit and made any and all travel disappear.

According to Byron, it was actually a big relief for the Finance team because of how much trouble travel expense management was at that point. “We had to monitor the balance of the card used for travel bookings and top it up. The problem was that many people booked on the same day, and it took quite some time for the deposit to reflect on the card. In the end, it could result in three or four days when people simply couldn’t book travel.

And then in 2021, travel started to pick back up again, and the situation grew even more complicated: “Suddenly, after the appetite for travel had been lost over the pandemic, people needed to see each other.”

That, combined with the fact that the headcount at Luno had grown significantly by that time, meant that managing travel was turning into a nightmare. In just a few short years, Luno’s Finance team alone grew from 4 to 40 people. Those 40 people had a lot of work to do — and dealing with hotel and flight reimbursements wasn’t on their agenda.

That’s when Luno found TravelPerk.

The TravelPerk & Pleo era

Clearly, Luno needed to find a solution. And fast. So, they came to TravelPerk and found that our platform saved Byron’s team time and money. Now, all their travel bookings and budgets are centralized in one place, and their travelers are finally able to book and manage their own trips, in their own way.

What made it even more perfect for the Luno team was putting a proper expense management solution in place. Enter Pleo.

It was meant to be a temporary solution”, Byron explains, “But with Pleo, it turned out to be so seamless we haven’t felt the need to change anything.”

The team loves the user-friendly UI both platforms provide and of course, the fact that they can book their own travel, pay with the pre-funded company Pleo card linked to the Travelperk account, and be completely independent of the Finance department.

In the year to date, Luno employees booked 228 trips through TravelPerk, costing roughly a quarter of a million dollars.

“It’s been quite a game changer for us because as soon as we had the TravelPerk platform and all approvals set up, we could just add a Pleo credit card, and that was it. We brought travel back for the company in about 2 weeks.”

How TravelPerk impacts Luno’s company culture

Byron says he saw that the introduction of Pleo and TravelPerk had a positive effect on the company. “It’s been great to empower people to independently spend where they needed and where they were authorized to.”

It has also impacted the mood of the whole Finance department. Now, they don’t need to chase people for receipts. They have full control of the budgets and travel spending across all departments. They don’t need to worry about an employee booking an out-of-budget hotel because that’s simply no longer an option!

Travel policies set in TravelPerk and spend limits on Pleo cards meant there was no need for the Finance team to participate directly in employee spending. In turn, this freed up more time for them to spend on important tasks every day instead.

If you want to see how TravelPerk can help you save money on business travel, save time managing expenses, and improve travel policy compliance, schedule a demo to see our platform in action.