Business planning startup Pigment raises $145 million round in rare French tech megaround

Parisian startup Pigment has raised a $145 million funding round just five years after its creation. The business software company offers a business planning platform so large companies can view their past financial performance and forecast future quarters.

This round of funding is a surprise, because large rounds of funding are rare in France. According to a recent EY study, fundraising in the French tech ecosystem fell by 38% in 2023 compared to 2022.

But if you remove dynamic AI startups like Mistral AI and capital-intensive infrastructure projects that aren’t really tech startups like electric vehicle charging networks (Driveco) and vehicle battery factories electric (Verkor), the financing cycles are radically down. Pure software startups have had a rough few years.

Pigment is an exception with its series D. Existing investor Iconiq Growth is doubling its stake by leading this new round of financing. Sandberg Bernthal Venture Partners, IVP, Meritech, Greenoaks and Felix Capital are also participating – many of them were also existing investors.

And there’s a reason why Pigment was able to raise so much money at a significantly higher valuation less than a year after its previous funding round. In 2023, the startup managed to triple its turnover and double its customer base with well-known clients like Unilever, Datadog, Kayak and Merck. Half of Pigment’s customers are based in the United States

“Our current investors told us: “If you want to raise funds in 18 months to evolve with others, you might as well offer you attractive conditions now for an internal funding round.” And everything happened very quickly. . . In a week, it was done,” Éléonore Crespo, co-founder and co-CEO, told me.

Before founding Pigment, Crespo worked at venture capital firm Index Ventures and Google. She co-founded Pigment with Romain Niccoli who was co-founder and CTO of Criteo – one of the first successes of the French technology ecosystem.

“IVP – one of our backers – evaluates the growth rate of all SaaS companies. And since we sold our product, we are in the top 5% of SaaS companies with the best growth rate ever, in terms of revenue growth,” Crespo said.

Image credits: Pigment

Pigment is a flexible business planning tool used by CFOs and finance teams to create reports and budgets. It is a modern SaaS platform, which means you can integrate it with all your company’s data (ERP, HRIS, data lakes, etc.) and use it as a collaboration tool.

In addition to finance teams, sales teams can use Pigment to create quotas and see how everyone is performing against quarterly quotas. HR teams can see how they should scale up or down based on strategic changes and financial goals.

“We’ve done a lot of work to reach out to other teams, not just finance teams. We have developed many modules that allow us to serve HR teams, supply chain teams and sales teams,” Crespo said.

In fact, as more teams start using Pigment, it becomes an important tool for cross-team collaboration. And it’s supposed to work better than legacy tools from Oracle and SAP.

Like many software companies, Pigment has also added AI features. Because Pigment serves as a central repository for all important business metrics, customers can ask Pigment AI questions in natural language to get a quick response. Examples include “can you give me a revenue breakdown by country” or “why was our actual revenue lower than our forecast last quarter for this product.”

But more importantly, the company has optimized its core product so that it works well even with large data sets and complex calculations. The best business software is a must-have product, which means businesses generally don’t need to devote a lot of resources to improving the product: customers need that tool to work. Pigment remains a challenger in this sector and therefore believes it must provide a better product to compete with other business planning products.


Back to top button