This post was prompted by feedback to the last prediction in my 2021 annual predictions post, The Rebirth of Planning and Enterprise Performance Management. Excerpt:
EPM 1.0 was Hyperion, Arbor, and TM1. EPM 2.0 was Adaptive Insights, Anaplan, and Planful (nee Host Analytics). EPM 3.0 is being born today. If you’ve not been tracking this, here a list of next-generation planning startups …
Since that post, I’ve received feedback with several more startups to add to the list and a request for a little more color on each one. That’s what I’ll cover in this post. I can say right now this got bigger, and took way longer, than I thought it would at the outset. That means two things: there may be more mistakes and omissions than usual and wow if I thought the space was being reborn before, I really think it now. Look at how many of these firms were founded in the past two years!
Order is alphabetical. Links are to sources. All numbers are best I could find as of publication date (and I have no intent to update). I have added and/or removed companies from the prior post based on feedback and my subjective perception as to whether I think they qualify as “next generation” planning. Note that I have several and varied relationships with some of these companies (see prior post and disclaimers). List is surely not inclusive of all relevant companies.
- Allocadia. Founded in Vancouver in 2010 by friends from Business Objects / Crystal Reports, this is a marketing performance management company that has raised $24M in capital and has 125 employees. Marketing planning is a real problem and they’re taking, last I checked, the enterprise approach to it. They have 93 reviews and 4.1 stars on G2.
- Budgyt. Founded in 2013 in New York, this is a cloud-based budgeting solution that appears to be bootstrapped and has fewer than 10 employees. They have 4.8 stars across 14 reviews on G2. Their message is somewhat contrarian, emphasizing Excel replacement.
- Causal. Founded in 2019 in London. I can’t find them in Crunchbase, but their site shows they have seed capital from Coatue and Passion Capital. They promise, among other things, to “make finance beautiful” and the whole thing strikes me as a product-led growth strategy for a new tool to build financial models outside of traditional spreadsheets.
- Cube. Founded in 2018 in New York, founder Christina Ross tells a compelling story about her frustration as a finance user that led her to start the company. Cube tops up, rather than replaces, spreadsheets to support better planning, modeling, and analytics. The company has raised $5M from investors including my friend Brett Queener at Bonfires Ventures, my friends at Operator Collective, and with a small angel bite from me. The company has around 30 employees.
- Decipad. Co-founded in late 2020 in the UK by friend, former MarkLogic consultant, and serial entrepreneur Nuno Job, Decipad is a seed-stage, currently fewer than 10 employee, startup that, last I checked, was working on a low-code product for planning and modeling for early-stage companies.
- Finmark. Raleigh-based, and founded in 2020, this company has raised $5M in seed capital from a bevy of investors including Y Combinator, IDEA Fund, Draper, and Bessemer. The company has about 50 employees, a product in early access mode, and is a product built “by founders, for founders” to provide integrated finance for startups.
- Grid. This company offers a web-based tool that appears to layer atop spreadsheets, using them as a data source to build reports, dashboards and apps. The company was founded in 2018, has around 20 people, and is based in Reykjavik. The founder/CEO previously served as head of product management at Qlik and is a “proud data nerd.” Love it.
- Jirav was founded in 2015, based in San Francisco, has raised $12.3M in capital (from, among others, friend and former Host Analytics investor Craig Hanson at Next World Capital), offers a cloud-based financial planning and modeling tool for small and medium businesses, and has about 50 employees. Jirav has 5.0 stars on G2 across 20 reviews.
- LiveFlow was founded in 2021, based in Redwood City, has raised about $500K in pre-seed capital from Y Combinator and Seedcamp. The company offers a spreadsheet that connects to your real-time data, supporting the creation of timely reports and dashboards. Connectivity appears to be the special sauce here, and it’s definitely a problem that needs to be solved better.
- Logica. On the theory (name-wise) that everything old is new again, this Omaha-based company offers a visual, collaborative financial modeling platform. They have less than 5 employees and $50K in seed capital.
- Mosaic. Founded by Palantir finance team alumni in 2019 in San Diego, this is a strategic finance platform company that has raised $21M, including a recent round led by General Catalyst of $18.5M. The company has around 36 employees. They tell their story well.
- OnPlan. Founded in 2106 in San Francisco by serial entrepreneur and new friend, David Greenbaum, OnPlan is a financial modeling, scenario analysis, and forecasting tool. The company has raised an undisclosed amount of angel financing and has over 30 employees. Notably, they are building atop Google Sheets which allows them “stand on the shoulders of giants” and provide a rare option that is, I think, Google-first as opposed to Excel-first or Excel-replacement.
- Pigment. Founded in Paris in 2019, the company has raised $26M for its forecasting and planning system that, with a certain je ne sais quoi, promises to “bring color to your company’s future.” The company has over 40 employees and the product appears to be in waitlist for early-access mode.
- PlaceCPM. Founded in 2018 in Austin, this company takes a focused approach, offering forecasting and planning for SaaS and professional services businesses, built on the Salesforce platform, and with pricing suggestive of an SMB/MM focus. The company has raised $4M in pre- and seed financing. The product gets 4.9 stars on G2 across 13 reviews.
- Plannuh. Pronounced with a wicked Southie accent, Plannuh is Boston for Planner, and a marketing planning package that helps marketers create and manage plans and budgets. Founded by (a fellow) former $1B company CMO, Peter Mahoney, the company has raised $4M and has over 30 employees. As mentioned, I think marketing planning is a real problem and these guys are taking a velocity approach to it. They have 5.0 stars on G2 across five reviews. I’m an advisor and wrote the foreword to their The Next CMO book.
- Runway. This company is backed with a $4.5M seed round from the big guns at A16Z. I can’t find them on Crunchbase and their website has the expected “big thinking but no detail” for a company that’s still in stealth. Currently at about 10 people.
- Pry. Founded in San Francisco in 2019 by two startup-experienced Cal grads (Go Bears!), with investment from pre-seed fund Nomo Ventures, Pry has fewer than 10 employees, and a vision to make it simple for early-stage companies to manage their budget, hiring plan, financial models, and cash.
- Stratify. Founded in 2020 in Seattle, this company has raised $5.0M to pursue real-time and collaborative budgeting and forecasting to support “continuous planning” (which is reminiscent of Planful’s messaging). Both the founder and the lead investor have enterprise roots (with SAP / Concur) and plenty of startup experience. The company has fewer than 10 employees today.
- TruePlan. Founded in 2020, with three employees, and seemingly bootstrapped I may have found these guys on the early side. While the product appears still in development, the vision looks clear: dynamic headcount management, that ties together the departmental (budget owner) manager, finance, recruiting, and people ops. Workforce planning is a real problem, let’s see what they do with it.
- Valsight. Founded in 2015, a spin-off of the Hasso Plattner Institut, and backed by Hasso Plattner Ventures, Valsight has around 25 employees, is based in Berlin, and offers driver-based planning, forecasting, and simulation.
- Vareto. Founded in 2020 in Mountain View, with fewer than 10 employees and some pretty well pedigreed founders, the company seeks to help with strategic finance, reporting, and planning. The website is pretty tight-lipped beyond that and I can’t find any public financing information.
Thanks to Ron Baden, Nuno Job, and Bill Rausch for helping me track down so many companies.
(Added Valsight 2/10/21.)