SaaS to support financial planning for mid-sized businesses with real-time data and local collaboration is not the most attractive offering to startup under the sun but one that gets made quickly. Desk A handful of notable supporters – including Creandum, who is leading a $ 7 million preliminary round that is announced today.
Lists of current investors also participating in the tour are Y Combinator (Abacum was part of its latest batch), PROFounders and K-Fund, along with angel investors such as Justin Kan (co-founder and CEO of Atrium and Twitch); Maximilian Tyenthal (co-founder, co-CEO and chief financial officer of N26); Thomas Lerman (GLG Co-Founder & Ex-CEO), Avi Meyer (Co-founder and CEO of TravelPerk); Plus Jenny Bloom (Zapier CFO, Mailchimp ex-CFO) and Mike Asher (CFO in Neo4j).
Abacum was founded last year in the middle of the global lockdown for COVID-19, after what it says has been about a year of “deep research” to fuel its product development. They launched SaaS in June 2020. Although they did not disclose customer numbers at this early stage, their early customers include a host of companies expanded in the United States and Europe, including companies such as Typeform, Cabify, Ebury, Garten, Jeff and Talkable.
The Spanish founders of the startup – Julio Martinez, a fintech entrepreneur with an investment banking background, and Jorge Lusch, ESA engineer-turned-chief financial officer / operations manager – discovered an opportunity to build custom software for mid-market finance teams to provide time access to data Via local collaboration that is connected to major software platforms used by other business units, having felt the pain of a lack of access to real-time data and barriers to collaboration in their professional experience with the financial function.
The idea with Abacum is to replace the need for financial teams to manually update their models. SaaS automatically performs updates, and is fed with data in real time through direct integrations with software used by teams handling functions such as HR, customer relationship management, ERP (etc.) – enabling the finance function to collaborate More easily cross-business and enhance strategic decision-making capabilities.
The startup sales proposition for targeted mid-sized companies is multi-layered. Abacum says its SaaS saves finance teams time and allows for faster decision-making.
Before using Abacum, the financial analysts at our clients would easily spend 50% to 70% of their time on manual tasks such as downloading files from various systems, copying and pasting them into huge spreadsheets (it crashes a lot), and formatting data by manually adding and removing rows. Columns, formats, and data linking in manual error-prone form (such as vlookups & sumifs), “Martinez told TechCrunch. “With Abacum, this completely manual part is executed automatically and financial professionals can spend their time analyzing and adding real value to the business.”
“We allow faster decision-making that was not possible before Abacum. For example, some of our clients were updating their group analysis on a quarterly basis only because the associated manual tasks were so painful. With us, they can update the analysis weekly and make better decisions as a result.” .
SaaS also supports decisions in another way – by applying machine learning to business data to generate estimates about future performance, and providing an AI-based reference point based on historical data that financial teams can use to inform their assumptions.
It aids in business collaboration – allowing users to share and collect information “easily through workflows and permissions.” “We see this as leading to faster and richer decision-making as more stakeholders are involved in the process,” he adds.
Martinez says Abacum has chosen to focus on middle-market finance teams because they face “more challenges and shortcomings” versus smaller (and larger) market ends. He argues, “In this segment, the financial function is uninvested – they face the acute complications of corporate expansion that have become so urgent but at the same time still considered a support function, a back office.”
“Abacum makes finance a strategic function – we offer local collaboration to fund teams so they become the reliable business partner they want. We also see the pandemic has accelerated the need for funding teams to collaborate effectively and work remotely.”
He also describes the middle market segment as “somewhat impenetrable” – claiming that many companies do not have a solution yet.
While referring to competitors when asked about other long-time space players in numerical terms: Adaptive Insights (2003); Host Analytics (2001); And Annaplan (2008).
Commenting on the founding round in a statement, Peter Specht, added creation manager: “Financial planning processes in many companies are ready for disruption and require more automation. Abacum’s great solution enables finance teams to be more collaborative, efficient and better-informed through access to real-time data. We are impressed by their easy-to-use product, and initial recruitment of the best talent. And, most importantly, strong founders and their extensive operational experience – including CFOs and entrepreneurs who directly encountered the problem. 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 invested in product development and growth, according to Martinis, who says he is focused on wooing financing teams in the US and Europe for now.