Sunday, August 14, 2022 | 08:30 pm

Pigment Raises $73M to Take on Excel and Generic Spreadsheet Players in the World of Business Planning and Forecasting

Pigment Raises $73M to Take on Excel and Generic Spreadsheet Players in the World of Business Planning and Forecasting

The last 20 months of living in the midst of Covid-19, with all its unexpected developments, have been a challenge for many organizations when it comes to planning for the future. But that has also presented an opportunity for tech: build tools to make planning and forecasting, even in the midst of a pandemic, easier and more effective. To that end, Pigment — a Paris startup that has built a platform to help organizations better visualize data and use it to power better business planning and forecasting — has been seeing a surge of business, and today it is announcing a Series B of $73 million to fuel its growth, both in the U.S. and Europe.

Its mission, CEO and co-founder Eléonore Crespo said in an interview, is not just to make it easier to use big datasets in more strategic ways, but to use its intuitive approach to take on the behemoth of Excel — estimated at over 1 billion users — and other generic spreadsheet programs, to become the go-to planning and forecasting platform.

“Eighty percent of use cases are still done in Excel,” Crespo said. “We have built the most powerful engine in the market, providing simplicity in what is a complex process.” The approach is about replacing the ubiquitous spreadsheet interface with drag and drop elements to manipulate business data so that anyone, including non-technical people, could use it, she added, “a little like Lego.” Starting first in finance and revenue, the plan will be to build modeling and forecasting templates that can be used in a variety of business departments, including HR, sales and marketing.

The round is being led by Greenoaks, with previous backers FirstMark Capital and Blossom Capital also participating. Blossom led Pigment’s $26 million Series A in December 2020.

Pigment is not disclosing its valuation with this round, but for some context, it was valued at $112 million in its Series A, per PitchBook data.

With customer traction, Pigment’s sweet spot up to now has been working with fast-scaling businesses with a strong play specifically in the world of tech, where its customers include Algolia, Gong, Melio, Deliveroo, Spendesk, Blablacar, and Cheerz — precisely the kind of organizations that are both amassing large amounts of data about how the business is running, and in strong need of tools to help make better sense of that data, to use it to have a better idea of what the future might hold.

Indeed, one of the reasons Pigment plays so squarely into that use case is because that was some of the impetus behind why it was founded in the first place. Crespo previously was an investor at Index Ventures (and before that a data analyst at Google) and her co-founder Romain Niccoli was previously the CTO and co-founder of adtech giant Criteo.