Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to instantly convey important information such as financial data within an organization whenever necessary. However, even the internet can’t prevent delays if it takes a while to gather data in the first place. Such delays could create uncertainty when it comes to financial forecasting and make it more difficult for all parts of an organization to operate smoothly.
Place Technology is offering a solution to this problem with its service, PlaceCPM. This technology connects the flow of data across the finance lifecycle of an organization. We reached out to Brandon Metcalf, Place Technology’s founder and CEO, to learn more about his past experiences and the origins of the company.
Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?
Imagine connecting your financial planning and analysis software with your revenue ops software, billing software, accounting software, and your customer relationship management — all inside the operating system that the company uses daily.
Now, imagine that all the “plumbing” for that was pre-built and designed based on workflows to increase operational efficiency, eliminate manual moving of data, and most importantly, provide data when and where it needs to be to make decisions.
What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?
At the last company I founded, Talent Rover, I created a series of Excel workbooks that enabled us to forecast the profit and loss and also cash using a direct cash flow method years in the future. These models were accurate but would take more than 150 hours a month to maintain. We had to use them, though, as there was not software available that we could replace it with.
After we sold Talent Rover, I started consulting to figure out what I wanted to do next. The companies I was consulting for were software-as-a-service and service companies. This quickly led to these companies wanting to implement my models. I started looking for software to see if there was something I could implement for these companies instead of the spreadsheets and once again was disappointed with what the options were. So, I started to conceptualize what I would want a software to do, and that led to starting Place at the end of 2018.
What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?
I have been leading people and running businesses for the past 20 years. In 2009, I started building a product that eventually became the first company I founded, Talent Rover. Talent Rover was an operating system for staffing and recruiting companies. It was built on the Salesforce Platform, and we had clients ranging from Adecco Group ($26 billion and largest staffing company in the world) to smaller, 25-employee companies. I scaled Talent Rover to having nine offices in eight countries and customers in more than 40 countries. We raised $28 million for that business and sold it to our largest competitor in March 2018.
What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?what is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?
Most legacy players are focused on enterprise only and have solutions that are difficult and expensive to not only use, but also implement. I see a future where finance and business are integrated in one solution that provides agility, transparency, and collaboration.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
My co-founder and CTO, Kabe VanderBaan, was my vice president of technology at Talent Rover, so we’ve been working together for many years. Our current vice president of engineering was our lead architect at Talent Rover, so we also have worked together for a long time now. The rest of the team we’ve hand-selected. For example, our head of sales I recruited personally and has been with us since we started looking at go-to-market.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
Our primary competitors for forecasting would be Mosaic.tech, Planful, and Vena. We also have competitors for the revenue operations/subscription management elements of our product. That primary competitor is SaaSOptics.
What is the benefit of building your platform on salesforce?
There are many benefits of building on the Salesforce Platform.
- Security, stability, and performance
- Faster build time
- Less technical debt
- $1.4 trillion ecosystem
What does your business model look like?
We are a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model with a minimum of one-year annual contracts. Our product is sold based on a number of licenses.
What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?
I’ve raised a significant amount at my last company and have raised $5.5 million for Place outside of crowdfunding. I’ve known many CEOs who’ve raised from crowdfunding who loved it, and I certainly understand why. It’s been a great process so far. I really like being able to support accredited investors but also love being able to give non-accredited investors the opportunity to invest.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?
We are a proven leadership team, solving a massive problem for SaaS and service companies. Our first one-and-a-half years in the market have been great, and momentum is building.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?
There are several exit opportunities:
- Competitor acquiring us — this is what happened with Talent Rover
- Partner acquiring us — we are integrating with other products to provide financial visibility
- Private equity acquiring us
- IPO — this is the option that I think is the least likely
We are excited to see where Brandon and his team take the company. Place Technology is currently raising on Wefunder.