What is Old is New, or Newer Again
They say accounting is dull. Maybe. They say accountants are boring. Some are. So, by extension, accounting software has to be a yawner. Wrong! OK, maybe. Not many people wake up in the morning and say, I have to build the next great accounting software package. But some do. Martin Zych is one of those people and founded Jirav, the next generation budgeting, planning and forecasting platform for the mid-market.
Having been the Head of Finance for many organizations and having raised money in numerous financings, and built models, over and over again, he had an epiphany that many great entrepreneurs have, “there has to be a better way”. Jirav is that better way. A driver based modelling application that will help finance professionals build budgets and plan quickly and easily, model scenarios all while minimizing the inputs and maintenance required through the integration of the ecosystem partners, that is novel. Steve Turner, Martin’s co-founder also thought it novel and a challenge, and joined to help build it.
And to us at Information Venture Partners, this is exciting stuff. So, while it may not be the most exciting thing for other VCs, it is to us, and we like to find the financial software gems and back their visions. Jirav is one of those. We were early investors in Adaptive Insights (at the time Adaptive Planning) when it was just over $1M in revenue, and sold it for almost $1.6B many years later. We recognized the problem over a decade ago and yet, so little has changed. They took what is old, and made it new.
Jirav has evolved the model some more, and made it even newer. We see a similar opportunity and the reasons are simple. First, everyone budgets and plans. There isn’t a business on the planet that doesn’t have a plan. It may not be complex, it might be in Excel or the back of a napkin, but everyone knows how much they need to sell to make a profit and stay in business. Second, Jirav makes planning a breeze. As one of the finance heads we spoke to said, what “took 40 hours in Excel took 4 hours with Jirav”. There are hundreds of thousands of mid-market businesses globally, and each has a finance department, and each needs to be a strategic partner to the business. Third, accounting is changing. Accountants and accounting firms are being asked by their customers for insights. Many of their customers want more from their accounting partners, and accountants recognize the need to evolve their relationships. There are 10s of thousands of accounting firms in the US alone. Fourth, we need to see the future. Giraffes have long necks to see further. Jirav can too. Integrations with leading operational systems simplify the build and maintenance of the models and provide real-time perspectives of what lays ahead. And lastly, in times of uncertainty, you can never plan enough. With COVID, we learned that the world can change quickly, and smart business of all sizes need to plan appropriately to stay ahead. The small and mid-sized business have borne the brunt of the dislocation, and Jirav has arrived with the right platform, just in time.
You never know what you can see at the zoo or at accounting conferences, but we are thrilled to have found a Jirav. We love the team, the product, our co-investors, and the company’s emerging partner base.
We admire the many finance professionals and accountants who have shared their experiences with us and share Martin’s epiphany to advance planning into the 21st century. They will make a difference to their teams, as we hope to do with the Jirav team.
We believe budgeting will evolve a lot more, we are planning on it.
– Rob, Alex, Brendan and the Information Venture Partners team