SaaS to support financial planning for midsize businesses with real-time data and native collaboration isn’t the sexiest startup pitch under the sun, but it’s the one that quickly saw Abacum winning. a group of notable backers – including Creandum, which leads to $ 7 million. seed round that is announced today.
Lists of existing investors also participating in the round are Y Combinator (Abacum was in their latest batch), PROFounders and K-Fund, as well as angel investors such as Justin Kan (co-founder and CEO of Atrium and Twitch ); Maximilian Tayenthal (co-founder and co-CEO and CFO of N26); Thomas Lehrman (co-founder and former CEO of GLG), Avi Meir (co-founder and CEO of TravelPerk); plus Jenny Bloom (Zapier CFO and Mailchimp ex-CFO) and Mike Asher (CFO at Neo4j).
Abacum was founded last year amid the global COVID-19 lockdown, after what it says was about a year of “extensive research” to fuel its product development. They launched their SaaS in June 2020. And while they are not disclosing the number of customers at this early stage, their first customers include a range of scalable companies in the US and Europe including Typeform, Cabify, Ebury, Garten. , Jeff and Talkable.
The start-up’s Spanish co-founders – Julio Martinez, a fintech entrepreneur with a background in investment banking, and Jorge Lluch, an engineer from the European Space Agency turned CFO / COO – spotted an opportunity to create a dedicated software for mid-market finance teams to provide timely access to data via a native collaborative that plugs into key software platforms used by other business units, having felt the pain of a lack of access to real-time data and obstacles to collaboration in their own professional experience with the finance function.
The idea with Abacum is to replace the need for finance teams to manually update their models. SaaS performs updates automatically, fed by real-time data through direct integrations with software used by teams dealing with functions such as HR, CRM, ERP (etc.) – enabling the finance function to collaborate more easily across the company and strengthen its strategic decision-making capacities.
The startup’s sales pitch to targeted midsize companies is on several levels. Abacum says its SaaS saves finance teams time and enables faster decision-making.
“Before using Abacum, our clients’ financial analysts easily spent 50% to 70% of their time on manual tasks such as downloading files from different systems, copying and pasting them into massive spreadsheets. (which crash frequently), formatting data by adding and removing rows, columns and formats, connecting the data in a model prone to manual errors (eg, vlookups and sumifs), ”Martinez tells TechCrunch. “With Abacum, all of this part of the manual is done automatically and finance professionals can spend their time analyzing and adding real value to the business.”
“We allow faster decisions that were not possible before Abacum. For example, some of our clients updated their cohort analysis on a quarterly basis just because the associated manual tasks were too tedious. With us, they are able to update the analysis every week and make better decisions accordingly. “
SaaS also supports decisions in another way – by applying machine learning to business data to generate estimates on future performance, by providing an AI-based benchmark based on historical data. that finance teams can use to inform their assumptions.
And it facilitates cross-sector collaboration – allowing users to share and collect information “easily through workflows and permissions.” “We are finding that this translates into faster and richer decisions as more stakeholders are involved in the process,” he adds.
Martinez says Abacum chose to focus on mid-market finance teams because they face “more challenges and inefficiencies” compared to smaller (and larger) market segments. “In this segment, the finance function is underinvested – they are faced with the acute complexity of scaling up companies which is becoming very pressing, but at the same time, they are still seen as a support function, a back office, ”he says.
“Abacum makes finance a strategic function – we provide native collaboration for finance teams to become the trusted business partner they want to be. We are also seeing that the pandemic has accelerated the need for finance teams to collaborate effectively and work remotely, ”he adds.
He also describes the mid-market segment as “fairly unpenetrated” – claiming that many companies do not yet have a solution in place.
While the competitors he refers to when asked about other players in space are long in the tooth in numerical terms: Adaptive Insights (2003); Host Analysis (2001); and Anaplan (2008).
Commenting on the tour de table in a statement, Peter Specht, Director of Creandum, added: “Financial planning processes in many companies are poised to be disrupted and require further automation. Abacum’s smart solution enables finance teams to be more collaborative, efficient and better informed with real-time data access. We were impressed with their user-friendly product, the initial hiring of top talent, and most importantly, the strong founders and extensive operational experience – including as CFOs and entrepreneurs who experienced the problem firsthand. We are excited to be part of Abacum’s journey to empower global SMEs to take their financial operations to new levels. “
Abacum’s seed funding will be spent on product development and growth, according to Martinez, who says he is currently focusing on courting finance teams in the United States and Europe.