Employee Cards & Claims

How Nansen Built a Leading Blockchain Platform, Supercharged By Aspire’s Multi-Currency Accounts

Published on
October 14, 2022
— Aspire Journey
saved per year
saved per year
Before Aspire
  • Faced high fees to open bank accounts in multiple currencies
  • Relied on a single company card for purchases, with limited credit limit; issuing multiple corporate cards was restrictive
  • Lack of opportunities to maximise savings through corporate card spend
After Aspire
  • Support sending money in various currencies with Aspire's Multi-Currency Accounts that are not available with other banks
  • Aspire Cards empower employees to make their own purchasing decisions
  • Increased savings with cashback earned through subscription payments
Company Size
Alex Svanevik, Lars Bakke Krogvig and Evgeny Medvedev
Case study focus
Business Account

The Company: Blockchain analytics platform who aims to create the future of finance

Founded in 2020 by Alex Svanevik, Lars Bakke Krogvig and Evgeny Medvedev, the Nansen team are pioneers of the Web3 space with the aim to deliver more transparency about the wallets that are transacting on-chain. Their blockchain analytics platform analyses over 130 million wallet labels across blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, BNB Chain, Avalanche, Fantom and many more. This helps crypto-native investors, operators and funds discover emerging opportunities, perform due diligence and defend their portfolios with real-time notifications. 

The Challenges: What pain points were Nansen looking to solve? 

#1 Conventional bank accounts charged high fees for multi-currency capabilities 

Once a team of 50 employees, Nansen’s headcount now stands at over 150 and is looking to expand even more. As a remote-first company, Nansen’s employees hail from all over the world, such as Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United States. To facilitate international payments for their global team, they sought a multi-currency bank account. However they found that conventional corporate accounts were not built with startups in mind一in fact, the fees charged for each international payment did not seem sustainable in the long run. This was one of the turning points for Nansen.

#2 Corporate card issuance was too limited 

The Nansen team quickly found another sore point with conventional corporate banking一it’s restrictions on issuing multiple cards. As they continued to scale rapidly, Nansen needed to delegate spending to their remote employees. One of the ways was to provide them with their own corporate card. After all, having their own card will allow them to make fast purchases should they need to, such as paying for SaaS subscriptions and digital ads. However, they would need to pay for additional fees and go through multiple rounds of paperwork to be able to get multiple cards. The drawn-out and painstaking process was an excruciating experience that they wished to avoid.

#3 Lack of opportunities to generate cost savings 

For most startups, managing cash flow effectively means ensuring each dollar spent goes into necessary expenses that furthers its growth. The same goes for Nansen. While that may be the case, they found that their conventional corporate card offers zero rewards when it comes to making SaaS subscription payments. SaaS was one of their largest and most important expense categories. Multiple teams across analytics, product and marketing rely on subscriptions to keep their day-to-day operations running smoothly. However, the card they used did not reward them for these expenses一leading to a missed opportunity to acquire cost savings for the company.

The Nansen team at work
“Aspire has given us a lot more flexibility and options through its competitive FX fees and multi-currency accounts. It has been an incredibly fast and smooth experience from start to finish.”
Kenneth Chew
Finance Manager at Nansen

The Solution: Aspire’s all-in-one suite that supports Nansen’s growth and vision

Following Nansen’s $75 million Series B fundraise, it was clear that they needed a smarter and more cost-effective finance OS that will support them as they work towards their mission in building their next phase一to become the information super-app of Web3. 

They found that with Aspire.

#1 Multi-currency accounts & transparent FX

Due to the size and characteristics of Nansen’s global team, their multi-currency needs were one of their top priorities. Turning to Aspire provided them with multi-currency accounts that allowed them to transact FAST and GIRO payments in SGD and USD. Similarly, they issued employee cards tied to the account. This means their team members could send and receive these currencies without the astronomical charges of their previous corporate account. For Nansen, that was a big step towards ensuring the effectiveness of their cash flow management.

#2 Liberate teams to spend with Aspire Cards

Pivoting to Aspire Cards liberated the Nansen team to make empowered spend decisions in a blink of an eye. No longer slowed with a rigid corporate card, the team could now focus on improving their agility without compromising on security and control. The team was able to ensure that cards remain in check with budgets by activating spend limits and merchant lock features. These smart features enabled management to control the amount employees were spending on the cards. Merchant locks were also important as they could specify which merchants employees are allowed to make payments to. This way, the features in place would allow the team to issue as many cards as they need to, without worrying about potential breaches, cases of misuse or budget oversight. This was the power of Aspire cards. 

#3 Acquire higher cost savings with cashback rewards

Getting armed with Aspire cards also opened up the team to a whole new untapped stream of cost savings. Nansen is now able to enjoy unlimited 1% cashback on all SaaS subscriptions paid for using the Aspire card. They would now make subscription payments stretch further. After all, they’re able to save more on the services that they’re already paying for. In addition, they could put back the cashback earned into their respective budgets一whether it be for marketing, analytics or product. 

“Aspire has helped us do what we do best with features tailored to our needs as a company. Our focus is now on the next phase of our growth, as we know our finance operations are in safe hands. The automation tools Aspire offers has given us a leg up when it comes to staying on top of our spending, both locally and internationally. We’re excited for what’s to come as we continue to develop Nansen to serve our constantly growing user base.”
Kenneth Chew
Finance Manager at Nansen
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