LA startup FloQast raised $40 million with this pitch deck that shows how even accounting software can inspire passion (BL)


FloQast CEO Mike Whitmire

  • Los Angeles-based FloQast offers software that helps companies close their accounting books each month.
  • While other companies, including BlackLine, have offered similar software for giant corporations, many of the mid-sized and smaller enterprises FloQast targets are still relying on manual methods, FloQast CEO Mike Whitmire told Business Insider.
  • FloQast released its its product in 2015 and now has some 800 customers, including Lyft and the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • It just raised $40 million in venture funding using the pitch deck below.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

“Accounting” and “passion” are not two words that typically go together. But for Mike Whitmire, they’re a perfect fit.

Whitmire is the CEO of FloQast, a startup that offers software that helps companies close their financial books at the end of each month. But his background is as an auditor and accountant, where he saw first-hand how difficult the closing process can be for companies. He figured there had to be a better way than forcing accounting teams to work long hours at the end of each month, often reviewing binders full of printouts, to try to reconcile their books.

“I felt like … I was on to something, and it was something i’d be passionate about, even though it was in the accounting space,” he said about coming up with the idea for FloQast in 2012. “It’s actually a piece of software I am passionate about.”

FloQast’s cloud-based software plugs into and downloads data from companies’ enterprise resource planning systems, such as those from Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP, and also connects with the reconciliation spreadsheets they’ve put together in Microsoft Excel. The software is designed to allow accounting teams to work together on one set of numbers so they’re all on the same page. And Los Angeles-based FloQast also provides access to the service to companies’ auditors so they can more easily check their clients’ books.

That process today is still “really manual, like people are literally printing binders full of paper,” Whitmire said. “It causes errors,” he continued, “and wastes so much time.”

FloQast’s service, which it offers on a subscription basis, may sound like a niche product, but it addresses a problem that’s common across corporate America, Whitmire said. Traditionally, there just haven’t been good systems that help businesses other than giant corporations close their books. 

BlackLine has shown that there’s a sizeable business to be made in the space. That company, which offers similar software that’s largely targeted at enterprise-class companies, is on track to post around $286 million in revenue for 2018. A public company since 2016, BlackLine has a market capitalization of $3.4 billion.

FloQast has some high-profile customers

Whitmire and his team have designed FloQast to serve the customers that BlackLine generally hasn’t — mid-size and smaller enterprise companies that have anywhere from 200 to 10,000 employees. Many of those companies aren’t using any kind of closing software today, Whitmire said.

FloQast first targeted other software startups when it began marketing its service in 2015. But since then, it’s found customers in many different industries. Among its 800 clients are Lyft, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

The company charges different rates for different sized customers. Smaller companies pay $167 a month per user for up to six users as a base rate for its software; larger ones pay $200 a month per user for the same number of users. FloQast offers discounted pricing to both sets of companies for additional users, which are typically the members of companies accounting or financial departments.

It soon could attract more. The 150-person company announced last month that it had raised $40 million in funding in a Series C round led by Norwest Venture Partners. Whitmire and his team plan to invest a chunk of the money into developing its service, adding new features, including ones beyond just helping companies close their accounts, he said.

The company plans to add some staff including on its sales team, but it doesn’t plan to dramatically increase its employee base, he said.

“This wasn’t a round of funding to triple sales or anything like that,” he said. “It really was to put some more money in the bank, be ready for strategic opportunities as they might present themselves and enables us to invest some more in the product.”

Here’s the redacted pitch deck FloQast used to raise its latest funding round:

SEE ALSO: This founder’s startup developed a super-efficient chip to help self-driving cars ‘see’ the world around them. Here’s the pitch deck it used to raise $25 million to get the chip in production.

FloQast Series C Deck page 001

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