The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program logo appears on the smartphone screen.

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French business planning startup Pigment has raised $88 million in a funding round led by ICONIQ, the private investment fund that manages money for tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.

Pigment is known for its business planning and forecasting platform designed to be more user-friendly than Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program.

The company, which was co-founded and run by dual CEOs Eleonor Crespo and Roman Nicoli, told CNBC it plans to use the funding to expand its US reach and AI.

Venture capital firms Felix Capital, Meritec, IVP and FirstMark also participated in the funding round.

Pigment counts the likes of Klarna, Miro and PVH owner Tommy Hilfiger as its clients.

The company’s tools are primarily used by finance teams for planning and making financial and business decisions. In addition to Microsoft, Pigment also looks at enterprise software tools from giants such as Google, SAP, and Oracle as competitors.

In 2022, Crespo said, Pigment had grown its revenue by 600% and increased its overall user base tenfold — and insisted it was well-positioned to compete with incumbent giant Microsoft.

“We don’t have users just in the finance team but outside of finance, and it’s very exciting for investors to hear that we’re not a financial platform but rather a business database that can serve any business leader out there from HR to sales to marketing, to research and development,” she said.

“We’re here to sell (to) any business leader. And not only that, but they’ve heard from their portfolio companies that we’ve been able to serve the most forward-looking companies out there.”

Pigment also plans to use the latest inflow of funds to invest in the development of artificial intelligence products.

It introduced a new service called Pigment AI last month, in the wake of increasing hype surrounding artificial intelligence and products like ChatGPT, which allow customers to query data, identify patterns, and automate analysis and reporting.

Crespo said there were no plans to drastically increase headcount and that Pigment was instead looking to grow in a more sustainable way, given investor pressure on companies to achieve profitability in favor of rapid growth.


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