Leading financial planning and analysis platform Clockwork has closed a $2 million seed round investment from Underscore VC in Boston. The Clockwork SaaS platform alleviates the pain founding teams experience wrangling the complexity of finances and forecasts while running fast-growing businesses.
Eighty-nine percent of the more than six million employers in the US have fewer than 20 employees, and the vast majority of these businesses lack a full-time finance person or someone focused on financial planning and analysis (FP&A). These businesses typically hire outsourced CFOs or rely on their CPAs to receive the strategic advice they need to grow instead of owning that process themselves.
To take the friction out of finances for everyone, Clockwork integrates with Quickbooks Online and Xero in less than five minutes and saves teams 20 or more hours a month on managing, planning, and predicting their finances and cash flow. The platform uses machine learning to ingest up to three years of financial data and then learns from historical trends, seasonality, and other traits to build detailed models and forecasts.
Teams can create unique five-year projections, 52-week cash flow forecasts, and dashboards, and run unlimited custom assumptions and scenarios in seconds instead of days or weeks.
Founded by a Black former banker and an Arab fractional CFO, the Clockwork team lived the pain small businesses have managing their finances and cash flow every day; they constantly fielded ad-hoc calls from entrepreneurs who did not grasp finances or needed to make critical hiring decisions or were struggling to show potential investors how their businesses were doing.
According to a recent US Bank study, 82% of businesses fail because of cash flow problems. This is exacerbated by poor visibility into business finances or a lack of financial literacy. Clockwork affordably simplifies finances and gives founding teams power over their numbers with tools to make necessary information easy, accessible and immediate.
Clockwork.ai founder and CEO Fady Hawatmeh says the company takes the mystery out of finance and give business operators confidence in their numbers and cash flow to empower their growth. “The single best piece of information as a fractional CFO I used to give clients was ‘know your numbers.’ Having financial command reduces fear, allows management teams to take calculated risks, and focuses them on what they do best to grow their businesses instead of relying on someone else, or spending valuable time wrangling spreadsheets.”
Clockwork’s market opportunity is significant: it solves a consistent problem for almost eight million US-based businesses that currently run on Quickbooks Online or Xero. The platform empowers outsourced professionals and internal teams alike, requires no hand-holding to implement, is easy to use, and costs a fraction of other FP&A platforms.
The Clockwork team also is actively assisting other company founders through their Startup and Inclusion Program. This innovative initiative helps any company making less than $1MM in revenue and/or are founded/led by black, brown, women, disabled, or any other minority with discounted tools and support.
The program’s goal is to offset the disparity in venture capital investing, as minority-run companies receive less than 3% of VC funding (Crunchbase).
Underscore VC Principal Brian Devaney says the firm’s mission of working with vertically oriented SaaS businesses is well represented in Clockwork. “Fady and his co-founder, Mike Webb and their team have found and solved for a critical need in a big and underserved market: helping small businesses and their finance partners take control of their finances with tools that previously were only available to growth-stage companies. The Clockwork team has also lived the pain they are solving with the product, which gives them an acute understanding of what their clients need, and a proven ability to execute.”
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