17 August 2020 7:42pm 4 min read

Finmark Will Help The Next Generation Of Great Startups

It was several years ago. I was in the middle of my wild ride taking Distil through the company building journey from unknown startup to acquisition by Imperva. Along the way, we were growing rapidly and our finances were becoming ever more complicated. I remember asking myself questions like: 

  • Why does it take the CFO so long to get me the financials?
  • Why is the financial modeling wrong?
  • Why do we have such a hard time collaborating on it?
  • Why can’t I easily share it with my investors?

At Distil I tried to fix these issues so many times that I can remember thinking that I should start a company to solve this problem. But, like so many ideas at the time, I jotted it down in my book and put it back on the shelf. I needed to focus on the company I was already running.

But I could never quite get the idea out of my head. 

And so when it was time to start a new company, I knew what I wanted to do. And when I discussed this problem – the difficulty for entrepreneurs to do good financial modeling from day one – with other people, they immediately acknowledged the pain as well. I knew I was on to something. 

Thus Finmark was born.

What is Finmark?
I can give no clearer description than sharing the boilerplate I’ve spent the past month working on:

Finmark provides financial planning and modeling software for startups. Finmark’s platform takes complex financial concepts and calculations and distills them down into a simple to use interface so companies can easily update, inspect, and share their financial metrics. Companies, from pre-revenue to pre-IPO, rely on Finmark to align teams, drive collaboration, reduce costs and resources, and build the next generation of great startups. 

Why Finmark? 
There are two elements of this startup that excite me so much. 

First, I am working to solve problems for my people: entrepreneurs. It takes a special breed to be an entrepreneur; to throw caution into the wind and do something different. Those are my people. I love those people. I want to help them. Having sound financial plans and modeling is incredibly important. But no one has time for it the way it is currently done. 

As an entrepreneur, I know startup life moves in fast forward. That means the money is draining from your accounts in fast forward as well. Many good companies fail because they run out of cash. They run out of cash because they often start with poor financial planning and modeling. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as currently founders are put in a difficult position. Investors will say, “make a plan how you’re going to spend this $2 million dollars over the next 18-24 months.”

My goal is to help startup founders know they are building their company on a solid foundation. I believe that, as a result of Finmark, more good companies will survive.  Instead of feeling like you are blindfolded as you build up your company, trust that there is a new way to feel confident with your money.  We eliminate the uncertainty of not knowing what your financials look like.  Finmark guides you as you build your structure and stays with you as you continue to develop and grow until that structure is complete. That excites me. 

The other aspect of Finmark that excited me was that it was about a new technology solving a problem. When I start a company I want to bring something new and different to the table. I don’t want to do the same thing as someone else, just better. The fact that 99% of the market is still using Excel which was not a purpose built tool means that something can be optimized. That is a meaningful challenge to me.  

Finmark provides an easy, shareable, and transparent financial modeling platform where startups are able to receive guidance. Unlike before, startups don’t need to fear their financial model. Some of the things Finmark does that I am most proud of include:

Guided, model building
Our model is simple and easy to understand.  There is no need to do any math and you don’t have to know what you are doing to be able to build our model.  We are your guides.

Runway
It is vital for a company to be able to easily see how much money is in the bank. Finmark gives founders a way to quickly determine if they are on the path to becoming cash flow positive or running out of money -without having to do all the math. 

Hiring Plan
Hiring is the biggest budgetary item a startup has, as most of its dollars go toward people. Yet it can be difficult for a founder to know which roles to allocate that money to make it most impactful on the business. Finmark provides an easy way to see who you should be hiring.

Fundraising needs
Finmark allows a startup to easily know how much it needs to fundraise and when to reach its goals. 

Scenario Planning
Scenario planning is crucial for companies. Creating a Plan A and B, and maybe even a C, of potential outcomes diminishes the fear factor when something goes wrong. With Finmark you can easily run different scenarios to put your business in the best position to succeed regardless of what comes at you. 

The idea for Finmark first began years ago. I didn’t know I was experiencing this pain of not having a reliable financial model until the mistakes began to break through the cracks.  If I had access to Finmark in my old company, I would have been able to make better decisions for my company. I could have been more prepared.

Rami Essaid
Chief Executive Officer

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