London-based Causal is a browser-based modelling tool for performing calculations, visualising data, and communicating with numbers. According to the company, it takes parts of spreadsheets and combines them with programming to make number-crunching fast, collaborative, and accessible to everyone.
Causal raises Seed funding
In a recent development, the company has raised $4.2M (approx €3.49M) in its Seed round of funding led by Accel. The round also saw participation from existing investors, including Coatue, Passion Capital, Verissimo Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Varadh Jain, and others.
With the current round, Causal has raised total funding of $5.5M to date. The raised capital will help the company to grow the engineering team and take the product to market.
Varadh Jain, entrepreneur and Causal’s first angel investor, says, “Causal has a big vision and a truly differentiated product that customers love. I’m thrilled to see them take it to market this year.”
Causal will be officially launching the product on Product Hunt next month.
A new way to think and work with numbers
Most of the companies in the current generation use spreadsheets to crunch numbers in order to make business decisions. The tool has many advantages; for example, sales teams use it to forecast their product pipeline, marketing teams need it to build growth strategies, and engineering teams use it to plan their cloud spend.
However, according to Causal, “spreadsheets haven’t evolved over the last 40 years – cryptic formulas prove difficult to work with, they’re disconnected from a company’s data sources (accounting system, CRM, payments processor), and static outputs hinder collaboration. Spreadsheets just don’t meet the needs of today’s data-driven, collaborative workforce.”
Founded in 2019 by Taimur Abdaal and Lukas Koebis, Causal’s vision is to replace Excel as the “de-facto” way to work with numbers on a computer. The foundation of spreadsheets is formulas. In Causal, you build your models out of variables, which you can then link together in simple plain-English formulae, for example, “Profit = Revenue – Costs”. The company claims that its platform takes typically 100 times fewer formulas to build exactly the same model in Excel.
Taimur Abdaal, CEO and co-founder at Causal, says, “Business planning and forecasting should involve every team in a company, but the complexity of spreadsheets means that it’s often siloed within finance. We want to democratise this process with a truly horizontal product that every knowledge worker can use, and we’re excited to have Accel join us on the next phase of our journey.”
How does it work?
The process is very simple. Teams have to set up a model and provide their data through the integration that Causal offers, such as Salesforce, Stripe, QuickBooks, among others. Then, within a single click, the platform generates the charts and reports as per the data provided.
When users are done, Causal lets them share their model in an interactive dashboard where teams can collaborate to understand the models themselves. Also, the platform has Granular permissions that need to be enabled for users who wish to see and edit their models, while version control enables people to easily roll back to previous versions.
Causal claims to save finance teams 5–10 hours per month on manual data entry via its data integrations with accounting systems (Xero, QuickBooks, NetSuite, etc.) and allows management and department heads to actively engage with the financial model, playing with the numbers in real-time in meeting to make decisions.
Currently, Causal is used by teams across departments, including finance, HR, sales, marketing, engineering, and product. Targeting 100 – 500 person companies, this cross-departmental usage is central to the Causal team’s vision.