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Michael Brown, Dallin Bills, Michael Hoeksema, Aaron Neil  |  June 15, 2022
Solving the Pain of Financial Planning Software—By Not Tossing Out Those Beloved Spreadsheets

Who loves using financial software? Chances are, you don’t.

In a recent survey of 105 financial professionals from companies of various sizes across industries, Battery found that the average net promoter score (NPS) across existing financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software tools was negative 28. Even worse, FP&A software scored the lowest NPS among all CFO-suite software categories we surveyed. In our view this is largely attributable to the difficulty in implementing, learning, and maintaining most FP&A software solutions.

When diving into the financial-planning workflow, it becomes clear why existing FP&A software is almost unusable. First, the technology needs to contain guardrails to prevent users from “fat fingering” incorrect data, which can render financial models inaccurate. Second, the software needs a dynamic data model that can quickly pull and process large quantities of data. Unfortunately, in solving for these two factors, incumbent solutions have created rigidity in the workflow and inflexibility in the data schema. The end result is that FP&A professionals end up retreating to what they know well and love: spreadsheets! Which are exactly what many of these new financial software tools were built to replace. In fact, in its survey, Battery found that 86% of companies use Microsoft Excel for financial planning even if they also paid for a third-party vended solution.

Rather than rip users out of the spreadsheets that they know and love, why not focus on meeting customers where they already live while enhancing their existing workflow? Enter Cube*.

Cube is a financial planning and analysis platform powering forward-thinking organizations. The product combines the best of both worlds: the flexibility of the spreadsheet with the structure of a purpose-built FP&A platform to drive businesses forward. It’s no secret that spreadsheets are not perfect. Spreadsheets lack version controls, access provisioning, report templates, model automation, and collaboration. Cube packages all these features into their platform while letting customers continue using their preferred spreadsheet, including Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. The dynamism created by this workflow puts Finance organizations on the offensive and at the heart of key strategic business decisions.

Today, Battery is proud to announce that we are partnering with Cube by leading the company’s $30 million Series B financing.

At its essence, Cube is a powerful pivot table in the cloud that ingests data from almost any source—ERP, payments, CRM, HRIS, internal databases, etc.—and lets business users pull down that information straight into a spreadsheet, all without needing to use SQL. The main use case to date for Cube has revolved primarily around financial data analysis, but the company sees many non-finance users who get value from the platform running their own ad-hoc analyses. As a result, Cube is pioneering a new era of “xP&A,” or holistic and collaborative business planning across all departments.

One Cube customer, a 75-location dental chain, uses the company’s platform to plan and report certain performance metrics, like monthly braces procedures, using data from their dental practice management software. Other Cube customers use the platform for headcount planning and inventory planning. Thanks to the product’s spreadsheet-first approach, Cube is opening up a “shadow market” among companies running important business analyses in spreadsheets today.

Christina Ross, Cube’s co-founder and CEO, is a former CFO herself. Christina is building Cube to solve the challenges she previously faced firsthand as a practitioner. None of the product would be possible without its dynamic back-end data model, which is the brainchild of Josh Holat, Cube’s other co-founder and CTO. Together, these two trailblazers are supported by a world-class team dedicated to making powerful software that financial professionals actually enjoy using.

Battery is grateful that Christina, Josh, and the rest of the superstar team at Cube have chosen to work with us to help build this company into and what we believe can be a generational business.

Check out the survey here:

Battery Ventures provides investment advisory services solely to privately offered funds. Battery Ventures neither solicits nor makes its services available to the public or other advisory clients. For more information about Battery Ventures’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies, please refer to our website.

*Denotes a past or present Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of the companies identified above

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

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