Trace, an early startup that wants to bring a taste of SaaS to the finance side of the house, announced an $8 million seed round today led by Greylock and Uncork Capital with participation from Nyca Partners, Redpoint Ventures and various individual angels.
Mike Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO at the company describes Trace as the first service designed specifically for finance teams to interact with the rest of the business and involves budgeting, accounting, procurement and other tasks. "What Trace is really building is an all-in-one platform where financial decisions are made, and people can work with finance to get work done," he explained
Trace handles all the core interactions between finance and everyone they need to work with in the business, focusing on budget owners. "In our platform, budget owners are given visibility into their financial targets, so they know what they're working towards," he said.
The idea is to build a more coordinated workflow between all the stakeholders in the process including finance, the department head, legal, security operations and so forth. Instead of cobbling together a bunch of different tools, Trace is attempting to bring this process into a single service.
Gonzalez has a deep background in this area having spent several years building custom financial systems as a consultant, and later working at Zenefits to build an internal system to track this kind of financial information. He took that knowledge, and along with his co-founders built Trace.
The company launched in 2018 and debuted the service in 2020. Although the pandemic has been challenging on a personal and company-building level, it did expose how important having a grip on the financial side of the business was when every penny counts.
For now the startup is taking aim at companies with between 200 and 1500 employees with hopes of ramping up to larger companies over time. Trace currently works with Sage Intacct, Netsuite and QuickBooks ERP financial systems.
It has a dozen employees, mostly in R&D with plans to add to that number as the business grows. As a Hispanic, who co-founded the company with his brother, he says that D&I is a cornerstone of his company building plans.
"We're both Hispanics, and we grew up in rough neighborhoods without privilege. And so promoting an environment of equal opportunity and inclusion is something that I care deeply about," he said. He says that they have already begun to invest to drive diversity and it's a huge priority for the company moving forward.
The company has been distributed from the beginning, so the pandemic didn't really change that, but as it grows, Gonzalez envisions having an office where people can come together for more collaborative work as needed.