Spreadsheet-busting fintech startup Causal raises $20m

By John Reynolds on Friday 25 March 2022

The Series A funding round in Causal was led by Coatue, the investment management firm and Accel, the venture capital outfit, with funding also coming from Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

Spreadsheet-busting fintech startup Causal raises $20m
Image source: Causal founders/ Causal

A startup founded by two Oxford graduates which has designed software that aims to replace “clunky” and “outdated” spreadsheets has raised $20m with funding coming from the US-born billionaire founder of crypto exchange FTX and the CEO of Yelp.

The Series A funding round in Causal was led by Coatue, the investment management firm and Accel, the venture capital outfit.

Additional investment came in from high-profile investors including Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Notion COO Akshay Kothari and Brex CRO Sam Blond. 

Founded in 2019 by Oxford graduates Taimur Abdaal and Lukas Köbis, both 27, Causal was born out of frustration with the lack of collaboration options available to those working with financial models.

The pair said that companies were often relying on spreadsheets that few people understood. 

They also said with no way to connect to live data sources, companies were putting excessive time and resources into manual workflows.

Furthermore, they said that companies had very few ways to collaborate and present spreadsheets to stakeholders in real-time.

Causal currently has over 100 customers and its software is billed as a rival to the likes of Excel and Google Sheets.

Central to the software is that it lets users create cloud-based finance models, connecting them directly to live data wherever it’s stored and lets them share the models through an interactive dashboard.

Causal added: “One of Causal’s unique features is the ability to create stunning visuals in a single click. 

“Unlike traditional spreadsheets, anyone on the team can quickly generate beautiful charts and tables in Causal, without spending hours on customisation and configuration.”

The funds will be used to beef up Causal's staff from 15 to 50 with a focus on growing its sales offensives.

The two founders were both working in California before they started Casual but came to London to launch the business.

Abdaal said: “Despite being used every day across the globe, spreadsheets haven't fundamentally evolved over the past 40 years. 

“Spreadsheet models are hard to build and maintain, disconnected from the rest of a company’s tech stack, and actively hinder collaboration across teams. 

“We’re building a next-generation tool to solve these problems, and are delighted that Coatue and Accel have led our Series A to take the company into the next stage of growth.”

David Cahn, partner at Coatue, said: “From the moment I started working with Taimur, Lukas and the team at Causal, I could tell that they understood the problems that companies face when it comes to relying on spreadsheets siloed in the finance team. 

“We think they have a novel product that’s going to make number-crunching fast, collaborative, and accessible. I’m looking forward to working closely with the team.”

David Kay, finance director at Unmind, said: “Causal has become a core part of our company’s toolkit.  

“Causal’s automation and visuals features let me focus my time on high-value projects and save countless hours when building and updating models.”
 

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