An investment in Futrli and the future of forecasting for (small) business
We hear from Jos White, General Partner at Notion, who explains why he invested in Series A funding for Futrli.
I’m thrilled to be announcing our investment in Futrli. The company is on a mission to help small businesses see their future in a way that hasn’t been approached before. We think this is a very powerful proposition and are excited to be investing in the company along with our friends at e.Ventures and firstminute.
Futrli (like many of my investments) was born out of Hannah Dawson’s personal experience running a small business and not being able to find any good forecasting and planning tools to help her. She was an insider to the pain but an outsider to the market. Like any good outsider, she saw the world differently and decided to set up a company to translate this vision into reality.
When you think about most software tools they either provide a system of record and/or greater levels of productivity. In all cases they are backward-looking. In almost all cases they are designed for larger enterprise customers. Business intelligence (so-called ‘BI’) now seems like quite a dated concept and is still very much the preserve of larger enterprise customers. It is also for the most part backward-looking – better understand what you have been doing so you can improve it for the next time.
An innovation in (business) forecasting software - the future of forecasting in (small) businesses?
But what if you could seamlessly tap into your data and make (business) forecasting software forwards looking? What if you could provide not so much a system of record but a system of prediction based on past and present data? That is exactly what Futrli is building. A new way of financial forecasting. In this way, the company is defining a new category that they call future intelligence. Allowing customers to look at eg future sales through innovative sales forecasting can be a real game-changer for (small) business owners. It will help cash flow projections and inform their business plan through an accurate and robust forecast. Demand is likely to be high.
SMB companies spend so much of their time ‘flying blind’ and yet they need better visibility of the future more than anyone. To be able to understand when you will run out of money. To understand what would happen if you spent more on your Google AdWords marketing? To have a detailed insight into what would happen if you hired two new salespeople based on a sales forecast? To compare making an increased marketing investment in one market versus another? Put simply to connect the dots between inputs and outputs and, in this way, be better prepared.
Futrli works with accountants, helping them to add value to their clients and support them on their journey. In the same way, they are partnering with some of the world’s largest consulting firms and banks. But the company also targets SMB’s directly.
The SMB market is still a relatively untapped frontier for SaaS companies; there is a huge opportunity but to be successful the product has to deliver most of the selling, onboarding, and support itself. It has to be highly intuitive. The Futrli CEO and Founder, Hannah Dawson, understands this and has a great feel for both the product and the market she is selling into. She has been there herself which makes a big difference.
Futrli has been bootstrapped to this point and reached revenue in the multiple of millions and profitability. So it has been run with a great deal of discipline and efficiency. We also think Hannah is a special talent who has what it takes to thrill her customers and build a really big business.
So we are very excited to be investing in the business and seeing what Hannah and her team can do with additional funding in taking some major steps towards their powerful vision of helping small businesses to see the future.