Introducing Ramp 💳
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 :: Tagged under: pablolife engineering. ⏰ 4 minutes.
Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
🎵 The song for this post is No Pude, by Lido Pimienta. 🎵
Folks who know me know that I'm
- harsh on capitalism, as is currently practiced in this second gilded age
- bummed about the tech industry; the criticisms for which are well-known and better-articulated by others.
One of the consequences of this is that it's hard to find a job I can go into every day and feel good about. I left Lyft last May to join a startup early; today we're widely launching. Time to talk about Ramp 😄
What it is
Ramp is a corporate card designed to help your business grow. The primary value prop is this: we'll proactively help your company save money, extending your runway, enabling you to operate more efficiently. We'll of course provide best-in-class Product features for any mindful CFO (accounting integrations, receipt tracking, extremely easy issuing/revoking of cards for employees, limit setting, notifications for significant events), making it more convenient than many cards off-the-bat. But the big play is investing in tech to use your transaction and statement data to help you be a smarter business.
Does your company use JIRA, Pivotal, Basecamp, and Trello? Do you have an AWS contract that's disproportionately expensive compared to other companies of your size and market? Did someone book a hotel room that just went down in price, and could easily be re-booked? There are tons of opportunities for savings in any company, and we aim to build features to highlight and enable those savings.
This can be significant! While most cards offer cash back bonuses (as do we!), getting a dollar of cash back costs you a hundred dollars of spend to accrue; having a dollar in your pocket from raw savings costs you nothing. Given that most startup failure is from running out of money, this can be significant.
Since a lot of programmers read this, I'll use my favorite metaphor: this is a linter for your CFO. No matter who you are or how well you program, tools like linters and formatters find and correct things that inevitably happen as your codebase scales. We want to be the secret weapon of any CFO who's trying to keep their company financially healthy.
Markets, Efficiencies, Economics
When companies save money by closing leaks, it's just more efficient for everybody. There are a large number of companies and CFOs who fall through the cracks because they dropped one of the 15 balls they're juggling. It'd be better for everyone if they could have a bit more slack.
While a lot of businesses are about rent-seeking or ingratiating themselves + exploiting existing inefficiencies, I appreciate being on the side of our customers.
The people, the tech
Joining a company as an early employee is usually a terrible idea as an engineer: you take a similar level of risk as a founder with a fraction of the upside. As I said before, Lyft was a pretty fantastic place to work (even with my conflicted feelings of ridesharing lol). Leaving to join an early company needed to be pretty special.
The founders of Ramp also founded Paribus, a company where Karen was the first full-time hire. She had a few very good years there, worked on excellent projects and raved about the people and the culture they built. About 8 months in, I can say confidently this was a great choice for me. My co-workers are kind, receptive, brilliant people, I'm given agency over critical business functions, I'm learning a ton about fintech and a few technologies I haven't used before, deployed production Elixir, and am eating up a lot about early company operations and growth. There's nothing quite like building something up with fantastic people ☺️
We're growing this year. If this seems interesting to you, email me and I'd love to chat. This isn't the best fit for everyone! And if you find that it's not a great fit for what you're looking for, I'd be happy to talk shop about hiring in NYC generally (I've… been around 😛).
Also, if you're in a position to make this kind of decision at your company, consider using us! I think we built something pretty awesome, and it's only going to get better.
- Our homepage is pretty and communicates the value prop.
- Founder's post on Medium
- Ramp on Product Hunt
- Business Insider
Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to join my mailing list, drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you 😄