Bean counters no more: Strategic finance for the modern enterprise

PortfolioJun 15, 2023

As a former operator in charge of strategic finance teams, I was tasked with driving company direction via metrics insights, storytelling from historical business performance, and leading indicators. It is a job that grew increasingly difficult as data source after data source was added and more stakeholders became involved. We’d spend more hours fixing broken data sources, arguing whose numbers were right, and updating models than we did driving business decisions. Too much time wasted where key decisions would take days if not weeks given the brute force and analysis needed.

As an investor, I’ve been eager to support businesses solving the pain points I felt every day. Here at OMERS Ventures, we’ve long been believers in the finance tech stack at large (as we’ve written here and here), and now we’ve placed our first big bet. We recently led a $26M investment in Mosaic and couldn’t be more excited to be along for the ride as they build the strategic finance platform for the modern enterprise.

What is strategic finance and why does it matter?

In the realm of modern business, the role of finance has evolved beyond mere number crunching and reporting. Strategic finance has emerged as a dynamic category that goes beyond traditional accounting and finance practices. It combines financial expertise with strategic decision-making to drive business growth, optimize resources, and maximize shareholder value.

Strategic finance has gained prominence for several reasons. First, the increasingly complex and competitive business landscape demands financial professionals who can provide strategic insights and support decision-making as quickly as possible. As organizations strive to navigate uncertainty, financial leaders play a pivotal role in charting a course for success. In the past few years, we have seen both unprecedented events disrupt the normal course of business in the pandemic and the collapse of major financial institutions like Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic. On top of this, the availability of vast amounts of data and advancements in technology have transformed finance functions.

Strategic finance leverages technology tools to analyze data, forecast trends, and identify opportunities and risks. These insights empower finance teams to move beyond historical reporting and become proactive partners in shaping the future of their organizations. And in today’s difficult current market conditions, teams have continued to turn their attention to finance teams, asking them to help shape the future by driving hard conversations.

Now more than ever, teams should be investing in their finance teams and having software as part of their core stack. I know I would have been 10x more successful in my previous role if I had software that solved many of the above challenges (sorry past teams!). And that’s where Mosaic comes in. Mosaic has built a real-time planning and analytics platform that enables not only finance professionals to deliver insights about the business but also key stakeholders in their functional planning.

With Mosaic’s investment in AI, the platform automates many workflows, multiple seamless data integrations and use of their public API to create the single source of truth, and flexibility to analyze any use case. This allows the finance team to be a true strategic partner to all functional teams in the organization, pulling these potentially disparate insights into a holistic strategy to create scale and growth in all the right places. Like at mosaic 😉 .

Mosaic screenshot

We would be remiss if we did not talk about the Mosaic team. Not only do we passionately believe in the category but also in this team. The execution and growth speak for themselves, highlighted even more so in this market. But Bijan, Joe, and Brian are one of the strongest teams we have met to date building within the finance tech stack. They experienced the same problems as many scaling growth companies while working at Palantir and developed an in-house solution to consolidate their data and systems, and give themselves a strategic finance copilot outlining money coming in and money going out.

This team has lived and breathed finance for their entire careers and know both the problem set and the buyer universe deeply. With that expertise and credibility, they have shown an ability to recruit top talent, build industry leading products, and close impressive customers.

We are excited to be part of this journey by leading Mosaic’s $26M financing round along with Founders Fund, General Catalyst, and Friends and Family Capital. Let’s go!