Any business seeking to harness and unlock big data insights to make better decisions has no shortage of tools at its disposal. But two-year-old French startup Pigment is challenging the business planning technology incumbents such as Anaplan and dusty old Excel spreadsheets by offering a more flexible, visual alternative that enables anyone in a company to embed forecasting into their applications, fine-tune their parameters and update their forecasts continuously.
A visual approach
Founded out of Paris in 2019 by Eléonore Crespo, a former Google financial analyst and investor at Index Ventures, and Criteo cofounder Romain Niccoli, Pigment is tackling a number of core problems that it says is hindering businesses’ planning and reporting processes. These include the lack of transparency and insights into business data, particularly where expansive data pools are concerned, and the “static” way it is typically presented by existing tools which makes it difficult to manipulate.
Pigment integrates with business tools such as NetSuite, Workday, Snowflake, and Google Sheets to bring future scenarios to life through charts, models, and simulations to support real-time strategic decisions, including running quick “what-if” scenarios and altering assumptions to compare scenarios via tables and waterfall charts. It’s ultimately pitched as a more visual approach to business forecasting,
Moreover, at a time when countless companies have been forced to embrace remote working, Pigment includes various tools to support team collaboration, including the ability to comment on specific figures or fields and tag colleagues to kickstart conversations.
“The need for an online collaborative tool for business data has never been higher — teams need to work on a common language when it comes to numbers,” co-CEO Crespo told VentureBeat. “They need to collaborate seamlessly on business and strategic data, and this is not easy with spreadsheets. Anyone at a company can use Pigment, visualize data, and input numbers in real time.”
It has been a busy 12 months for Pigment. The company announced its $25.9 million series A round last December while it was still in private beta, and since fully launching to the public back in May it has added a slew of big-name customers to its roster including European food delivery giant Deliveroo, search API company Algolia, and multi-billion dollar sales enablement company Gong.
And this, according to Crespo, represents Pigment’s ideal customer profile — scale-ups that have raised at their series C levels and above. However, it is ultimately gunning for any company looking to modernize their business forecasting capabilities.
“The reason these companies are in our sweet spot is because they are growing quickly, and at least 80% of them are using Google Sheets or Excel to complete their planning processes,” Crespo explained. “They need a platform that will scale and adapt to their rapid changes, so they can keep being on top of the business and make the best decisions.”
Aside from lead investor Greenoaks, Pigment’s series B round included all series A backers, such as FirstMark Capital and Blossom Capital.
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