Palantir alums raise $25M from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and other VCs for their finance startup, Mosaic – TechCrunch
Mosaic, which aims to change the way CFOs of high-growth companies operate, has raised $25 million in a Series B round of funding led by Founders Fund.
Bijan Moallemi, Joe Garafalo and Brian Campbell started San Diego-based Mosaic in 2019 after meeting at Palantir Technologies, where they worked on building out that company’s finance organization as the company grew to 2,500 people and over $750 million in revenue. The trio moved on to other senior finance roles at companies such as Piazza, Axoni and Everlaw before teaming back up to create Mosaic.
“Along that journey, we tried all the off-the-shelf tools that exist and they had a really hard time keeping pace with the needs and the requests of the business,” CEO Moallemi recalls. “We realized that these weren’t just Palantir problems but that actually, all companies were facing these challenges.”
The trio described Mosaic as a “strategic finance platform” that is designed to ingest data from a number of systems — ERPs, HRISs, CRMs, etc. — and then provide CFOs and their teams with strategic planning tools to be able to predict and forecast with better accuracy and with speed.
Over the past two years, Mosaic says it has grown its customer base by 3.5x, landing customers such as Pipe, Kandji, Drata, Fivetran, Sourcegraph, and Crossbeam. Over the past year, it saw its annual recurring revenue (ARR) grow by 4x.
“We plan to stay on target this year as well,” Moallemi said.
“Mosaic is born out of our experience as CFOs and as domain experts over the past decade,” Moallemi said. “We are trying to create a Strategic Finance category. If you think about the way that CFOs do their work, 80% of their time is mostly manual, right? It’s pulling down data from disparate systems, it’s doing ad hoc Excel formulas, it’s often one-off analyses. Only 20% of their time is more strategic, making an impact on the business.”
Mosaic’s aim is to flip that ratio on its head.
As our former managing editor, Danny Crichton, noted last year, the company wants to build a gateway to connecting an entire company to discuss finance in a more collaborative fashion. So while Mosaic focuses on reporting and planning – the mainstays of the finance office – it wants to open those dashboards and forecasts wider into the company so more people can have insight into what’s going on and also give feedback to the CFO.
Its business model is that of any typical SaaS platform. Today, it doesn’t charge per user but that may change down the line.
The startup last raised in January 2021, an $18.5 million Series A led by General Catalyst, which also participated in the company’s latest financing. It declined to reveal its valuation.
General Catalyst also participated in the Series B along with another existing backer XYZ.
Founders Fund leading its latest round is notable in that it was co-founded by Peter Thiel, who also co-founded PayPay and … Palantir.
In a statement, Thiel said: “Even the newest companies tend to inherit old and cumbersome finance tools to plan their growth. Mosaic saw this and fixed it, giving companies access to a Strategic Finance Platform that works as quickly and effectively as the best teams do.”
John Luttig, principal of Founders Fund, told TechCrunch that Mosaic “is the perfect example of strong founder-market fit” with founders who “have solved the strategic finance problem before across several companies.”
He added that in his view, the startup is taking a more ambitious approach to strategic finance than some competitors, who might be making “incremental improvements” to spreadsheet-based processes or “building clunky enterprise-oriented software.”
“Mosaic’s vision of blending ease-of-use and enterprise-grade functionality and flexibility is what sets it apart,” Luttig said.
The startup’s plans for the new capital include continuing to invest in its product, which includes significant dollars going toward R&D. It also wants to focus on its go-to-market strategy.
“We want to get in front of more customers,” Moallemi said.
Its product works for all sizes of companies, he said, both early and later-stage.
“A year ago today, we were working with smaller Series A type customers,” Moallemi told TechCrunch. “Now that sweet spot has expanded all the way to larger unicorn customers. We want to continue growing that sweet spot.”
Presently, Mosaic has about 100 employees, up from about 30 this time last year.
Earlier this month, TechCrunch also reported on the raise of another startup that aims to make the job of a CFO more efficient: Glean AI. Months after leaving his role as CFO of Better.com in 2019, Katzenberg set about coming up with automation technology that would help address some of the challenges that CFOs face. In early 2020, he launched Glean AI, a startup that wants to help businesses save money by using machine learning to analyze things like deal terms, line-item data, redundant offerings and negotiation opportunities.