A company starting from scratch today is probably going to use a stack of financial software with the most modern fintech tools. These could be things like Stripe for payments, Brex for corporate credit cards and Gusto for payroll and benefits, among others that when combined can provide a unique view into a company’s financial health.
Puzzle, an early-stage startup, is building an accounting package aimed at taking advantage of the data streaming from these tools. Today, the company is making its public debut, while announcing a $15 million Series A.
Sasha Orloff, CEO and co-founder of Puzzle, calls his company “the first smart accounting software,” which combines a streaming financial data platform that’s connected to a general accounting ledger.
“By combining these two things, we can create a whole new set of capabilities for an organization across fundraising, taxes and understanding the complete picture of financial health [at a startup], Orloff told TechCrunch.
The streaming piece is possible because of the ability to connect to things like payment and payroll data in real time and update the ledger with the most recent information. Instead of compiling this data on a monthly basis, the company can have the most current information at its fingertips at all times, and that can be a real advantage, according to Orloff.
“We pull natively off of that modern stack to create this single place where a company can see all of their data and how these things kind of fit together to then create a picture of your financial health. So it’s like a complement to all of the modern innovation that has been happening,” he said.
Ultimately, Orloff wants to be more than an accounting software service for startups, but he calls that a starting point for the company. He says that the goal is eventually to replace traditional ERP (enterprise resource planning) software with this “API-enabled data platform that’s connected to all of the best solutions in the market, not just what happens to be bundled together in the [vendor’s] API.”
The company launched at the end of 2019, and has been working with more than 500 startups over the years to build and refine the new software. Today the company is emerging from beta with a service that is generally available to any interested customer.
Puzzle currently has 30 employees and plans to hire with the money. Among his staff are several people with the unique combination of accounting and engineering knowledge, but he says that he will need people across the board as he scales the startup.
The $15 million investment was led by General Catalyst, with participation from more than 100 industry angels, including CFOs at venture-backed startups. Today’s round closed at the end of last year, and the company has now raised $20 million, including a $5 million seed also led by GC, according to Orloff.