The aftermost 20 months of active in the bosom of COVID-19, with all its abrupt developments, accept been a claiming for abounding organizations back it comes to planning for the future. But that has additionally presented an befalling for tech: body accoutrement to accomplish planning and forecasting, alike in the bosom of a pandemic, easier and added effective. To that end, Pigment — a Paris startup that has congenital a belvedere to advice organizations bigger anticipate abstracts and use it to ability bigger business planning and forecasting — has been seeing a billow of business, and today it is announcement a Series B of $73 actor to ammunition its growth, both in the U.S. and Europe.
Its mission, CEO and co-founder Eléonore Crespo said in an interview, is not aloof to accomplish it easier to use big abstracts sets in added cardinal ways, but to use its automatic access to booty on the behemoth of Excel — estimated at over 1 billion users — and added all-encompassing spreadsheet programs, to become the go-to planning and forecasting platform.
“Eighty percent of use cases are still done in Excel,” Crespo said. “We accept congenital the best able agent in market, accouterment artlessness in what is a circuitous process.” The access is about replacing the all-over spreadsheet interface with drag-and-drop elements to dispense business abstracts so that anyone, including non-technical people, could use it, she added, “a little like Lego.” Starting aboriginal in accounts and revenue, the plan will be to body clay and forecasting templates that can be acclimated in a array of business departments, including HR, sales and marketing.
The annular is actuality led by Greenoaks, with antecedent backers FirstMark Capital and Blossom Capital additionally participating. Blossom led Pigment’s $26 actor Series A in December 2020.
Pigment is not advice its appraisal with this round, but for some context, it was admired at $112 actor in its Series A, per PitchBook data.
With chump traction, Pigment’s candied atom up to now has been alive with fast-scaling businesses with a able comedy accurately in the apple of tech, breadth its barter accommodate Algolia, Gong, Melio, Deliveroo, Spendesk, Blablacar and Cheerz — absolutely the affectionate of organizations that are both accession ample amounts of abstracts about how the business is running, and in able charge of accoutrement to advice accomplish bigger faculty of that data, to use it to accept a bigger abstraction of what the approaching ability hold.
Indeed, one of the affidavit Pigment plays so absolutely into that use case is because that was some of the catalyst abaft why it was founded in the aboriginal place. Crespo ahead was an broker at Index Ventures (and afore that a abstracts analyst at Google) and her co-founder Romain Niccoli was ahead the CTO and co-founder of adtech behemothic Criteo.
At Criteo, she said, Niccoli’s “biggest nightmare” was that technical, sales and added departments were borer into actual able accoutrement to handle abstracts clay and forecasting, but in areas like acquirement and finance, “They were still application Excel for cool cardinal data.” That airish a huge botheration back Excel was never originally advised to be acclimated in that way, and it hadn’t acquired to accommodated that appeal and abundant use.
Crespo begin the same, she said, both at Index back aggravating to appraise information, and at Index’s portfolio companies.
“All these companies that were fast-growing, advancing for IPOs, and we’d see them active cardinal cases on spreadsheets,” she recalled. “It aloof didn’t work. Excel would aloof break. It wasn’t secure. I anticipation there should be a bigger way.”
Pigment does this by aboriginal of all accouterment a advanced ambit of connectors to accommodate abstracts from a array of added platforms, including Snowflake, Netsuite, Looker, Workday, Salesforce, Google Sheets and “dozens” of others, Crespo said. It again provides a set of accoutrement so that teams and ally can view, coact and accommodate acknowledgment on data. For those that already use Excel, they can assignment on abstracts in Pigment application “Excel syntax” to appearance trends in the data. It additionally provides a ambit of big abstracts analytics accoutrement abaft the scenes so that users can again run assorted “what-if” scenarios on the abstracts to analyze altered banking outcomes back and if altitude change.
There are, of course, a cardinal of altered companies, both old and new, that accept been arrest the apple of business planning with software to accomplish it easier to do this. They accommodate the brand of Anaplan, DataRails, Workday (related to the specific breadth of HR), Oracle, IBM, Looker, and alike newer players in the added accepted spreadsheet mural like Airtable. Interestingly, two of Pigment’s angel investors, Paul Melchiorre and David Clarke, appropriately appear from two of those competitors, Anaplan and Workday. (Melchiorre had been the CEO of Anaplan, and Clarke is the above CTO of Workday.)
“I’ve been in the action planning business back my time at SAP in the aboriginal 1990s. I afresh led the bigger amateur in the space, and I can candidly say that Pigment’s belvedere is the best adjustable and comprehensive,” Melchiorre said in a statement. “Pigment will be transformative for the startup ecosystem because it will be at the amount of acknowledged and acceptable advance strategies, clothier fabricated for the abutting bearing of leaders. It will acquiesce them to bear on aerial expectations set by accretion levels of funding, and plan for ambiguous scenarios while actuality socially and environmentally mindful.”
That endorsement, and the startup’s growth, are abaft this latest round.
“Financial planning and assay is a analytical business function. But today, best companies await on software that hasn’t acquired in years — either anachronous spreadsheets that are adamant and don’t scale, or big-ticket and ever circuitous FP&A suites that crave an industry of consultants to abutment them. Today’s businesses appeal active and able accoutrement that will advice them accomplish bigger decisions added quickly,” said Neil Shah, at Greenoaks Capital, in a statement. “We accept that the aggregation will rapidly become the market’s bright baton in planning software, architecture faster and for broader use cases than any competitor, and delighting their barter forth the way.”
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