How Railsbank handled explosive employee growth with Cledara

We spoke with Financial Controller Sadie Mcbain at Railsbank to understand how her team has kept software spend in check during a record growth phase.

Sadie McBain, Financial Controller @ Railsbank
Financial services
London, UK
Series B
Software count

Railsbank helps any business become a fintech.

They essentially provide the banking infrastructure through an open banking API in the cloud that companies need to offer payment services. And over the last couple of years, they have experienced some serious scale, passing the 300 employee mark in record time.

They are also one of our first customers, having used Cledara first as an early stage startup, a scaleup and a now fast growing mid sized company.

We spoke with Sadie McBain to learn why she thinks Cledara played a key role in their finance team to manage their software journey from day one.

“The whole concept of Cledara is fantastic and gives that flexibility and control we need as we grow.”

Controlling spend while scaling from 20 to 300+ employees

Sadie tells us that before Cledara, “if we were looking to have any subscriptions in place on a bank card, it would be really difficult to manage and have any control over when money was being spent.” 

She adds: “oftentimes, trying to cancel subscriptions has been a nightmare.”

How Cledara helped

“Cledara’s dashboard was an eye-opener to us. We have been using it for a while and it does a massive job. To be able to see all the data in one place clearly is fantastic.”

But it’s not just the visibility. According to Sadie, it’s even more about the control Cledara brings.

“For me control is the key. The fact that we can control all our software spend and disable cards in one click is amazing. We’ve been using it since we were 20 people on the team and it never gets old."

Reducing finance admin

Manual admin is one of the things that people in finance are not so fond of, to say the least. It slows down the business, absorbs valuable time and prevents people from focusing on the strategic projects that need attention - like financial modeling and planning.

How Cledara helped

“I love the fact the team has the access and flexibility to manage their SaaS subscriptions, so that they can take some of the burden away from finance.”

She goes on:

“Once the spend is approved, they can go and pay for what they need to. And later on, invoices are automatically uploaded to the Cledara platform. That takes away a big amount of admin from us.”

Managing cash flow

One of the things startups were painfully reminded of during Covid was that cash is king. And Cledara can be quite useful at helping teams know where the money is, and where potential savings lie. 

As Sadie comments: “we’re all looking to tighten our belts in these times and review whether we actually need different types of subscriptions. So any help there is huge.”

How Cledara helped

“It was great to get an overview of all our cards, what the budget was, and be able to reach out to some of the individual card owners and ask if this expense was really necessary at this time,”, Sadie says. “In doing so, we are able to reduce spending quite significantly on some subscriptions, and that in turn helps us better manage our cash flow.”

“Plus, Cledara allows me to see what’s coming up next month so I can put in place sufficient funds to ensure we settle.”

Sadie’s highlight - control is the key

Sadie tells us that’s what she likes most about Cledara: The control it brings.

“For me control is the key. And I don’t think we could possibly have this level of control without Cledara. And if we did, it would be manual and would really slow things down. The way Cledara gives us control is very organic and people on our teams are completely fine with it.”

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