Independent FP&A Expert Helps Fast-Growth Startup Gain Series D Funding

About the Client

Changing the Way Capital Markets Gets Done

Backed by some of the world's most renowned venture capital firms, this innovative fintech startup is on a mission to reimagine the way capital markets operate. By providing structured financing products to financial institutions, it’s empowering businesses to drive growth by enabling them to manage balance sheets more efficiently. 

The Situation 

Identifying How to Manage Exponential Growth Strategically and Sustainably

Attaining the next level of growth in the startup world is a huge accomplishment. But the path to getting Series D funding is paved with lots of hard work, a strategic growth map, and proof of sustainable growth. 

Knowing how important managing one's financial operations is to attain this designation, the recently hired CFO knew they would need to lay the foundation of the department and the company to get there. More specifically, they needed to create rigorous internal financial processes to guide its rapid growth. 

Given the business's current situation and market environment, the focus was on cash and growth. To ensure it was on track with its aggressive goals, the CFO wanted to onboard a VP of Strategic Finance on the team. But given the expedited timeline, it decided to switch tactics instead. 

Rather than looking for a full-time hire, the CFO decided it might be best to onboard an independent financial planning and analysis (FP&A) expert instead.

The Solution 

Onboarding an FP&A Expert On-Demand

Knowing they wanted to onboard an independent consultant for the project, the CFO conducted market research to identify viable platforms to leverage. After interacting with Graphite's website and learning more about the process and network of independent consultants, the CFO reached out to an Account Executive (AE) to learn more. 

The AE explained the process of getting started, such as how to post a project, interview the experts using the in-app messaging features, track project hours, and, most importantly, pay the expert on the platform. Pleased with the level of detail and depth of Graphite's network, the CFO decided to move forward with Graphite. 

On the scoping call, the CFO defined what they were looking for in the FP&A expert. They wanted someone well-versed in communicating key metrics to senior executives and investors, collaborating internally to create strategic budgets, and establishing a financial path to achieve the company's long-term vision (from pricing to multi-year forecasting). 

After less than 48 hours of posting the project on Graphite’s platform, the AE presented three candidates out of 302 qualified experts that best matched the CFO’s criteria. The CFO interviewed each candidate and selected an FP&A expert who had previously worked with Deloitte to evaluate a private equity fund's $100M investments in portfolio companies.

The Result 

Helping the Company Achieve Series D Funding

After connecting the expert with the startup, facilitating the onboarding process, and answering any burning questions, it was now the FP&A expert’s turn. 

One of the first assignments the FP&A expert undertook was to start compiling annual budgeting reports, creating board presentations based on financial results, and translating historical financial performance into forward-thinking strategies. 

Then the FP&A expert conducted large-scale process cleanups, rebuilding the company’s financial models from scratch. They redefined how it would approach creating reports for the board, rolled out consistent reporting formatting throughout the business, and established a request for proposal (RFP) process for finding new auditors.

Once that was completed, the expert focused on tackling the challenge of enabling the company to develop a roadmap to facilitate strategic, sustainable growth that would also help it attain Series D funding from its investors. 

To accomplish this goal, the FP&A expert turned the company’s historical financial performance into forward-thinking financial strategies and budgets, implemented robust reporting frameworks, and created sustainable systems to achieve strategic growth. 

Satisfied with the expert's level of work and commitment to the startup's growth, the CFO has since extended the project — retaining the expert as they continue navigating the fintech space. Because of the expert's groundwork in setting the foundation for the company's finances, the CFO was able to work with key stakeholders to secure Series D funding from its investors.