When Leapfin founder and CEO Ray Lau was managing financial operations at the game company Zynga a decade ago, he saw just how hard it was for his team to get answers about the financial health of the company quickly. He attributed this to too much siloed data and rigid financial systems.
He says that data has shown that even today, most CFOs don’t think their financial systems are flexible enough. A year after he left Zynga in 2014, he launched Leapfin to help solve this problem. Today, his company announced a $12 million Series A.
“In a nutshell, Leapfin is a financial data management solution. I think the quick way to think about what we do is we help CFOs to scale their finance and accounting organizations nonlinearly,” Lau said. What he means is using APIs to connect to various systems with data of interest to the financial team, his software can pull together data more quickly and efficiently than the hodgepodge of systems has previously allowed.
He says the typical financial system could involve 100 different back office systems. This results in a mountain of data points, which could be interesting and helpful to the finance experts if they could pull it all together. But the problem is it’s difficult to get this data in real time where it can really have a positive impact on the business.
“We basically bring all of this siloed data into one single intelligent repository. And there’s a lot of intelligence and logic behind it. We translate all the siloed data into real-time financials,” Lau explained.
He added, “But the most important thing is we don’t just ingest that data; we make sense out of data. So we connect the dots across all the different systems and apply business logic and rules and basically translate them into GAAP financials that CFOs and accounting teams can trust.”
He says a couple of things separate his company from more general data analysis tools. First, it’s entirely focused on financial data and the needs of financial professionals. Secondly, they use a graph database as they pull this data together to help the teams see connections among the data points they might have otherwise missed.
While the company launched in 2015, Lau says it took some time to build a product that could deliver on his vision. Among the companies using his software today include Canva, Vimeo, Reddit and Flexport.
He believes that a product like this can thrive even in a down economic environment. “We are a bit fortunate that we haven’t been impacted by this recession and inflationary environment. I think mainly because we’re a very mission-critical product and we benefit a CFO regardless of whether it’s a bull market or or a bear market,” he said.
The company currently has 50 people and as he scales he believes that being fully remote helps in building a diverse organization. “We currently actually have employees in 12 different countries. And we also believe that the best way to improve diversity is to actually increase diversity in the candidate pool at the top of the funnel, which is something that’s top of mind and something we really focus on,” he said.
Investors in the $12 million Series A include Crosslink Capital, Work-Bench and Uncorrelated along with industry angels.