Pigment raises $25.9 million to ‘reboot the spreadsheet’ with next-gen business forecasting


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Pigment, a platform that’s setting out to “reboot the spreadsheet” and give businesses a “multidimensional view” of their data, has raised $25.9 million in a series A round of funding led by Blossom Capital.

Founded out of Paris in 2019, Pigment touts itself as a business forecasting platform that circumvents the limitations of “error-prone” spreadsheets and inflexible software to bring a “new standard” to planning and modelling. The platform is still in closed beta, though the company claims to have secured some undisclosed high-profile clients including a major European bank and pre-IPO startups.

Pigment’s founding team include co-CEO Eléonore Crespo, a former financial analyst at Google who later joined Index Ventures as an investor, and (co-CEO) Romain Niccoli, cofounder and former CTO of adtech giant Criteo.

Incumbents

Pigment is entering a space occupied by some familiar, long-standing incumbents including Anaplan, Workday (which acquired Adaptive Insights in 2018), and trusty old Microsoft Excel. In fact, alongside its main lead investor, Pigment managed to attract a number of notable angel investors, including Paul Melchiorre, a former Anaplan exec who served as the company’s interim CEO before its 2018 IPO, former Workday CTO David Clarke, as well as the respective CEOs of esteemed enterprise companies Dataiku and Datadog.

Pigment’s founders say that they are setting out to address three core problems in the planning and reporting process, including the inherent lack of transparency and insight into the data that underpins a business; the vast amount of data that needs to be processed; and the “static” way that many current tools present the data, making it hard for anyone in the company to change or manipulate.

At Pigment, they are trying to save time and money, and sidestep common mistakes that currently hinder many organizations, while adopting a more visual approach that allows the user to tinker with various parameters and forecast continuously. This includes bringing potential future scenarios to life through simulations, charts, and models, and enabling real-time strategic decisions based on that data.

Above: Pigment cohorts

Above: Pigment promises a “visualy-driven” experience

But arguably, the core selling point of Pigment is that it is designed to allow anyone in a company, not just a limited few in finance, to dig in and create forecasting applications, modify the parameters, and see what direction the company is ultimately heading. Crespo said Pigment enables users to create an app from scratch in days versus months.

“We believe modeling should be easy,” Crespo told VentureBeat. “In competitors’ platforms, only a handful of people have creation rights in the tool to build models. In Pigment, everyone can create an application and build their own model. We bring the right governance so that data can be shared easily while preserving access rights. This makes Pigment the proper solution for all business users within a company rather than just for the central finance team.”

With $25.9 million in the bank, the company said that it’s well-financed to scale up its operations and engineering teams ahead of a full public launch next year. Other institutional investors in the series A round included New York-based FirstMark Capital and Frst.

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