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Pigment Co-CEO Eléonore Crespo On The Startup Playbook For Tough Times

The business planning SaaS platform has continued to raise money even as VCs pull back elsewhere.

Pigment co-founders and co-CEOs: Eléonore Crespo and Romain Niccol.
Pigment co-founders and co-CEOs: Eléonore Crespo and Romain Niccoli.

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The downturn in startup funding over the past year isn’t impacting all companies in the same way. Investors are being more selective and companies that check all the right boxes – from strong growth to strong founders -- can still benefit in this new era of belt-tightening.

Pigment is one such company. The business planning platform boasts two founders, Eléonore Crespo and Romain Niccoli, with a wealth of experience in the VC world, entrepreneurship, and Big Tech. Its service had such a fast start after it debuted 18 months ago that VCs have come knocking on Pigment’s door amid the broader funding slump.

Success is far from assured. But as the company positions itself to possibly raise a large Series C round, its journey offers a roadmap for others seeking to navigate a complex environment.

Spreadsheets Must Die

Pigment has developed a platform that is designed to integrate all the financial data across a business so execs can make better real-time decisions. Using visual displays on a dashboard, Pigment gives a 360-degree view of the business, and lets execs run a series of scenarios to see how various factors could impact the business over time.

The idea was born out of Crespo’s work as a financial analyst at Google. Even at the cloud giant, people were using spreadsheets to track internal data, which meant data often remained in different silos, and creating an overview across all departments could be slow and cumbersome.

“Everyone works on planning every day to make sure that not only we are accountable to what we do from a top line revenue perspective, but also from a customer resources perspective,” Crespo said. “It was interesting to see that at Google, everything was done on spreadsheets. And it was just not working.”

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